FLASHDANCE CLUB LOSES ITS LICENSE

Times Staff Writer

The last concert at Flashdance in Anaheim on Monday night may very well have been the last concert at the punk and new wave club.

On Tuesday, the Anaheim City Council voted to deny the renewal of the club's entertainment license, without which there will be no more shows by the likes of T.S.O.L., Social Distortion, Tex & the Horseheads or the other local punk groups that have frequented the club in recent months.

The City Council based its action on a recommendation for denial from Police Chief Jimmie Kennedy, who said he based his opinion on "recurring problems surrounding the Flashdance location by people in attendance, some ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Control Department) problems and not serving food (a requirement of the license)."

After the vote, Flashdance owner Jim Schumann said he was surprised at the decision, saying that all his dealings with the Police Department had been "very cordial."

Schumann said he would confer with his attorney, Gregory Parkin, before deciding whether to challenge the council's action in court.

At the meeting, Parkin asked the council to renew the license, saying, "The ABC made its annual inspection of the business and the kitchen and it passed. The ABC renewed the liquor license, with the comment, 'No problems.' "

Parkin also said, "If the renewal is not granted, it will likely result in bankruptcy for Mr. Schumann."

After hearing Parkin and additional comments from a Flashdance patron, Mayor Don Roth said, "We understand the situation, but we also have a responsibility to our citizens and the recommendations of our city departments, so we ask to uphold the denial."

The vote to deny the entertainment license was 4 to 0, with Councilman Ben Bay abstaining. The license will expire Thursday.

Following the vote, Parkin said, "The council is kind of in a spot in a way. If the police chief says, 'I don't want a place open,' it's hard for the council to turn around and say, 'You don't know what you're talking about.'

"But I don't think there was sufficient investigation to determine who the people were who were arrested near the club--whether they were coming to and from Flashdance or one of the other businesses. If there were arrests outside the club, it's not the responsibility of Mr. Schumann."

Flashdance booking agent Ed Christensen said, "I think (the council's denial) is just prejudice. When we first started doing these shows, the police used to drive through the parking lot and shine their lights on the punks and say, 'Look at the freaks.' I think that's what it is."

Responded Kennedy, "I have no idea what was said, so I wouldn't want to comment on that. I just know that we had a number of contacts with people and those contacts resulted in a number of arrests and citations."

Schumann opened Flashdance, which previously was a neighborhood bar, one year ago after winning the liquor license in an ABC lottery. At first, entertainment was limited to Top 40 bands, but last fall Schumann and Christensen began booking local original bands, focusing on punk and new wave music.

The club quickly became the north Orange County focal point for the punk scene. Although there had been several arrests near Flashdance in the last six months (primarily in the club's parking lot), officials from Anaheim's code enforcement and fire departments told The Times they considered the club's problems "minor ones."

But Police Chief Kennedy said, "I would say the number of police contacts (at Flashdance) were higher than normal for that type of location."

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