Concept East Reopens


Fifth Estate # 3, January 1966

Mayor Jerome P. Cavanagh last month ordered the renewal of a concert hall license for Concept East Theatre.

His action was taken on an appeal submitted by the theatre group after its application for a license renewal had been summarily denied without charges on a hearing some weeks ago.

The Theatre has been subjected to harassment based upon its production of the Leroi Jones plays “The Toilet” and “The Slave.” Initially, an ordinance violation ticket had been issued to the theatre manager for permitting the use of “profane or indecent language”. This charge was dismissed in traffic court by Judge Andrew C. Wood because of defective service. The following day the theatre received notice that its pending application for renewal of license had been denied.

Attorney John A. Fillion, cooperating counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, acting for the Concept East Theatre immediately appealed the denial of license renewal to Mayor Cavanagh in accordance with the procedures of the city ordinance. The Mayor appointed Assistant Corporation Counsel Anthony Marchese, Jr. to act as his commissioner, to conduct a hearing on the appeal. Upon a review of the transcript of the hearing and proofs and exhibits presented to the Mayor, an order for the issuance of the concert hall license to the concept East was issued by Mayor Cavanagh on November 18, 1965.