Arcadia : City Reviews Karaoke Clubs

Fearing violence, organized prostitution and illegal sales of alcohol, the Arcadia City Council on Tuesday asked its staff to draft an ordinance banning karaoke clubs from having private rooms and selling alcohol.

In Arcadia, there have been two nonfatal shootings at the now closed Rhythm Karaoke Club. A murder occurred at a karaoke club in Alhambra in August and, two months ago, an El Monte coffee bar with karaoke equipment was bombed, allegedly by members of a gang who had been asked to leave.

Karaoke participants sing accompanied by musical backing tracks and video. In a newer variation called karaoke television or KTV, small groups rent a room with a television that plays the videos.

Arcadia imposed a moratorium on new karaoke establishments in October, 1992, to enable regulations to be developed. At Tuesday's meeting, city staff presented a report on area clubs and summarized a series of problems with violence, gangs and illegal activity, particularly related to use of secluded rooms. The proposed ordinance, which will be considered by the council Aug. 3, would allow alcohol to be served in karaoke restaurants.

Monterey Park and Temple City have already banned private karaoke rooms.

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