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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE XX PUBLIC SAFETY AND GOOD ORDER
  • CHAPTER 140 LICENSES
  • Section 181 Theatrical exhibitions, etc.; licenses; fees; applications; suspension or revocation; workers’ compensation coverage

Section 181. The mayor or selectmen may, except as provided in section one hundred and five of chapter one hundred and forty-nine, grant and set the fee for, upon such terms and conditions as are described hereinafter, a license for theatrical exhibitions, public shows, public amusements and exhibitions of every description, to be held upon weekdays only, to which admission is obtained upon payment of money or upon the delivery of any valuable thing, or in which, after free admission, amusement is furnished upon a deposit of money in a coin controlled apparatus, but in no event shall any such fee be greater than one hundred dollars. Notwithstanding the limitations of this paragraph, a license granted to a movie theater, including any drive-in theater, for the exhibition of motion pictures shall permit such exhibition seven days per week. The fee for such license shall not exceed the total amounts paid by a licensee for licenses issued in 1997 under this section and section 4 of chapter 136 then in effect; provided, however, that the fee for such license shall not be greater than $500.

The application for such a license shall be in writing and shall fully and specifically describe the conditions of the proposed exhibition, show, or amusement and the premises upon which the proposed exhibition, show, or amusement is to take place, to the extent that such conditions or premises would affect the public safety, health or order. Upon written request of the mayor or selectmen, the applicant shall in addition furnish reasonable information concerning the conditions of the premises and actions to be taken in order to prevent danger to the public safety, health, or order. Within thirty days following receipt of such application, the mayor or selectmen shall grant a license or shall order a hearing preceded by at least ten days written notice to the applicant. Within forty-five days next following the close of such hearing, the mayor or selectmen shall grant such license or shall deny such license upon a finding that issuance of such a license would lead to the creation of a nuisance or would endanger the public health, safety or order by:

(a) unreasonably increasing pedestrian traffic in the area in which the premises are located or

(b) increasing the incidence of disruptive conduct in the area in which the premises are located or

(c) unreasonably increasing the level of noise in the area in which the premises are located.

Notice of such a denial shall be delivered to the applicant in writing and shall be accompanied by a statement of the reasons therefor. No application shall be denied if the anticipated harm is not significant or if the likelihood of its occurrence is remote. The mayor or selectmen may impose conditions upon a license but said conditions may only relate to compliance with applicable laws or ordinances, or to public safety, health or order, or to steps required to be taken to guard against creation of a nuisance or to insure adequate safety and security for patrons or the affected public.

No applicant having been denied a license as aforesaid shall submit the same or a similar application within one year of said denial without including in said new application facts showing that the circumstances upon which the original denial was based have substantially changed.

The mayor or selectman may revoke or suspend a license granted pursuant to the provisions of this section upon finding, after a hearing preceded by ten days written notice to the licensee, that conditions exist which would have justified denial of the original application for such license provided, that the mayor or selectmen may petition the superior court department of the trial court to enjoin any violation of this section.

No license shall issue, however, for a traveling carnival, circus or other such traveling amusement which does not have its principal place of business within the commonwealth unless the licensee certifies that he has provided by insurance for the payment of compensation and the furnishing of other benefits under chapter one hundred and fifty-two to all persons to be employed by said licensee and that such insurance shall continue in full force and effect during the term of the license; and the licensee further certifies that he has obtained a policy of public liability insurance in the amount of at least twenty-five thousand dollars to pay any claims or judgments rendered against the licensee in favor of patrons or others to recover damages resulting from the negligence of the licensee. The amount of insurance of the policy hereinbefore required or in effect shall not limit or impair any right of recovery to which any plaintiff may be entitled in excess of such amount.