CLARKSVILLE — Attorneys for the Town of Clarksville have responded to an appeal case filed by adult store Theatair X, stating the business is now in violation of new town codes and has failed to pay fines from last year.
On June 18, the town council voted to enact a general ordinance which would regulate aspects of adult businesses in town such as hours of operation — they must be closed between midnight and 6 a.m. — and business standards, such as proper lighting and making sure a manager can see everywhere patrons may be in the business, except restrooms.
While some of the provisions were included in a related zoning ordinance, that one didn't include hours or offer police powers the general ordinance does.
"No sexually oriented business shall be or remain open for business between ... midnight and 6 a.m. the next day," the response reads, citing the new code. "However, Theatair X remains open between [those hours].
The town's response Friday calls for a temporary restraining order or injunction to prevent the business from operating in violation of the newly bolstered laws. It also asks for fine payments due to alleged violations of the law, and attorney fees.
In October, the Clarksville Building Commissioner suspended Theatair X's license after an undercover police operation led the code enforcement employee to learn about alleged violations — multiple electrical issues and "improper openings" between the private viewing booths.
In November, the suspension was lifted after the violations had been remedied. Total fines accrued were $66,000, an amount that was recently amended to $9,100 since they had fixed many of the issues last year. Friday's filing by the town states that Theatair X hasn't paid any of the money yet.
In February, Clarksville Building Commissioner Rick Barr started the process to revoke Theatair X's license, after four people were charged with public indecency and public nudity in one of the main theater areas. That document alleged that owners should be held accountable for what happens on the property, and purported that they allow illegal activities to take place.
Counsel for Theatair X filed an appeal May 14 against the town after it voted to revoke the business license due to alleged continued noncompliance and a previous license suspension.
The complaint stated that the town never filed the first suspension correctly, sending the notice to the wrong business entity. They have further denied that any staff members knowingly allowed illegal sex acts to take place, and that the attempt to revoke the license is an attack on the business' constitutional rights.
Theatair X is represented by local attorney Dave Mosley and Cincinnati-based counsel Louis Sirkin. The town's is represented by local attorney Greg Fifer, who recently hired Tennessee-based attorney Scott Bergthold as co-counsel. Theatair X remains open with a provisional license throughout the appeal process.