The music plays on at a south Oklahoma City strip club while attorneys study decades-old documents to try to figure out if it has been operating legally all along.
Oklahoma City’s attorneys on Friday dropped their effort to ban adult entertainment at Red Light Nights Gentleman’s Club.
By Tuesday, they were re-evaluating that decision and may seek a ban again.
Oklahoma City’s attorneys filed a public nuisance lawsuit May 19 against the club. They were asking a judge to ban adult entertainment at Red Light Nights. They contended it was operating illegally because it is within 500 feet of “an area zoned for residential use.”
Red Light Nights is at 3600 S Hattie Ave., just west of Interstate 35 in south Oklahoma City. Across the street is a small neighborhood of six houses.
Oklahoma City’s attorneys dismissed their lawsuit Friday after finding adult entertainment had been allowed at that same location — 31 years ago.
The Oklahoma City Board of Adjustment in July 1983 gave Parkey Inc. an exception to the city’s restrictions. Parkey Inc. had opened a Vixen’s Club at the location. The board decided granting the club an adult entertainment permit “would not result in any adverse effect upon the surrounding property owners.”
What has the city’s attorneys reevaluating their decision is a judicial ruling from January 1986.
Turns out Oklahoma City Councilman Pete White had been so upset over the 1983 exception that he personally appealed it in court.
Ruling on that appeal three years later, Oklahoma County District Judge William R. Saied found the granting of the exception was in error and he overruled it.
“If the board’s order was in fact reversed, I’ll refile,” an Oklahoma City assistant municipal counselor, Daniel T. Brummitt, told The Oklahoman on Tuesday.
Complicating the issue, though, is another judicial ruling — from 1985. Oklahoma County District Judge David Cook dismissed White’s appeal in October 1985.
Cook was clearing his docket of inactive cases, and the records do not reflect if anyone involved in the appeal even knew what he had done.
Oklahoma City attorney Eric Groves, who is representing Red Light Nights’ landlord, said he questions if the 1986 reversal is any good since White’s appeal was dismissed in 1985.
White on Tuesday did not remember the details of his appeal, saying his recollection is it didn’t come out the way he wanted.
In another twist, a rival strip club operator is still pursuing his own legal effort against Red Light Nights.
Oklahoma County District Judge Patricia Parrish on July 18 let Keith Edwards, operator of Cat Ballou’s, intervene in the city’s lawsuit. The city’s dismissal of the lawsuit does not affect his effort.
He told the judge he is losing customers to Red Light Nights, which is less than a mile away.