Downtown theater operations policy (The Cary)

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Policy Statement 170

The Cary Downtown Theater Operations Policy

Prepared by: Lyman Collins, PRCR

Adopted by Council: 12/19/13

Effective: 12/19/13


To adopt an official policy for the operation of The Cary Downtown Theater, a public cultural resources facility administered by the Town of Cary designed to serve the cultural resource needs of Cary residents.


This policy, upon adoption by the Town Council, shall be applicable to the operation and use of The Cary Downtown Theater until such time that the policy statement is altered, modified, or rescinded by the Town Council.


The Town Council of the Town of Cary hereby establishes the following policy:

1)     Facility: The facility consists of a theater, box office, projection booth, administrative space and upper and lower lobbies in the original 1946 building. In addition, The Cary will also include the café concession area, dressing rooms, administrative office, storage, facility support, restrooms and an outdoor plaza in the new 2013 building addition. (The upper two floors of the new 2013 building addition are not designated as a cultural resource.  All aspects of this policy will be in effect except those related to “recognized Cary-based arts and cultural organizations”.)

2)     Facility Usage: The following priority shall be established for scheduling functions with the facility:

a)     Town sponsored programs and activities

b)     Programs and activities co-sponsored by the Town and approved sponsors

c)     Programs and activities sponsored by recognized Cary-based arts and cultural organizations

d)     Programs and activities sponsored by recognized Cary-based civic and non-profit organizations 

e)     Programs and activities open to the general public sponsored by Cary based businesses and organizations.

f)      Private function activities and events held by individuals and groups who are residents of Cary

g)     Private function activities and events held by individuals and groups who are not residents of Cary


3)     General Hours of Operation: The Cary shall be available for use during times as established in the Standard Procedure: The Cary Downtown Theater Use. The Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department Director or designee shall reserve the right to alter hours of operation due to weather or for the health or safety of the public or employees.

4)     Reservations

a)     Reservations for use of the facility shall be made as outlined in the Standard Procedure: The Cary Downtown Theater Use.

b)     Town sponsored and co-sponsored usage reservations may be made at any time.

c)     Cary residents shall have a priority reservation period for non Town sponsored use.

d)     The person making the application to reserve the facility must be at least 21 years of age and must assure adequate supervision when using the facility.

e)     Police security and/or general liability insurance may be required (at the user’s expense) as determined by the Department Director or designee.

f)      The Department Director or designee reserves the right to make cancellations at any time. Cancellation notices will be issued as far in advance as possible. All reservations/damage deposits and usage fees will be returned in full if cancellation is initiated by the Department.

g)      Cancellation may be initiated by the party making the reservation up to thirty (30) days prior to scheduled use without liability. All cancellation notices must be submitted in writing to the facility supervisor. Cancellations made within 30 days of the scheduled use will result in forfeiture of reservation/damage deposit.

h)     No cancellations will be accepted within five (5) working days of scheduled usage. Party making a cancellation within five (5) working days of usage will be liable for payment of rental fees and other charges in full.

5)     General Rules for Use of the Facility:

a)     An employee of the Department shall be on duty in the facility during all hours of theater operation or whenever the theater is open to the public.

b)     The following shall be prohibited within or on the premises of the facility:

(1)   Smoking within the building (smoking is permitted in designated areas outside the facility as permitted by law) 

(2)   All illegal drugs and other substances

(3)   Weapons of all kinds except law enforcement officers in the execution of their duties and public demonstrations as approved by the Department Director or designee

(4)    Animals of any kind except those serving the needs of the handicapped and those used in public demonstrations as approved by Department Director or designee

(5)    Possession and consumption of liquor and alcoholic beverages; Exception: Possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages may be allowed in designated areas at The Cary, 122 E. Chatham Street, pursuant to the following conditions. For purposes of this Policy, “alcoholic beverages” means malt beverages and unfortified wine (beer and wine) with less than 16% alcohol by volume; and “liquor” means fortified wine, spirituous liquor, and mixed beverages; all as defined by the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission.

(a)   Alcoholic beverage possession and consumption shall be allowed during Town-sponsored and co-sponsored programs and activities. Additionally, alcoholic beverage possession and consumption shall be allowed during a facility rental for programs and activities not sponsored or co-sponsored by the Town upon proper application by rental users as described below. 

(b)    Rental users shall submit an “Application to Serve Beer and Wine” which must be approved by facility staff, and pay all applicable fees as outlined in the annual budget of the Town of Cary. Possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages in connection with facility rentals by rental users shall be limited to the room or rooms that have been rented by that user.

(c)    Additional police security may be required at the rental user’s expense. Such need will be at the discretion of the facility supervisor. 

(d)    Rental user shall comply with all regulations of the North Carolina Alcohol Beverage Control Commission.

(e)   Rental users must provide proof of host liquor liability insurance coverage from a licensed insurer, or proof that caterer or bartender has liquor liability coverage. The caterer must also provide general liability coverage naming the Town of Cary as Additional Insured.

(f)     Consumption of alcoholic beverages for Police training purposes shall be exempt from sub-paragraph (a) through (e) above.

(6)   Any type of behavior that is detrimental to the normal operation of the facility or the safety of the public or employees is prohibited.

c)     Food and beverages are permitted only in designated areas. 

d)     Persons or groups using the facility shall be responsible for the breakage, loss, or damage to the facility and equipment and shall bear the full replacement cost for such breakage, loss, or damage.

e)     Persons or groups using the facility shall be responsible for any personal items brought into the facility and shall remove same at the end of each scheduled use time and shall return any Town-owned equipment to its designated place within the facility as directed by the facility supervisor.

f)      The theater shall be open only to persons who are upon the premise for specific programs, activities, functions or other official Town business.

g)      Persons or groups violating any of the above general rules is subject to immediate suspension from the facility and prosecution in the event of a law enforcement violation as provided in the Code of Ordinances of the Town of Cary.

6)     Sale of goods

a)   The Town shall have the option to operate concessions for the sale of goods, food, beverages and alcoholic beverages. Any or all of these operations may be contracted out to a business or private individual

b)     Town staff may work with outside vendors to provide the sale of goods and/or services related to events for the duration of events held on the premises subject to concessionaire agreement. 

c)     Town staff may work to lease and/or contract space on the first floor of the new construction and/or either or both upper floors.  The Department Director or designee will work with any potential lease holders to determine common spaces and appropriate use of such common spaces.

d)     No other vendors may provide and/or sell goods and/or services at The Cary without prior written approval from the Director or designee.

7)     All ticketed events in the facility will utilize facility box office service and may be subject to ticket surcharges.

8)     Fees for use of the facility shall be those as adopted by the Cary Town Council in the annual budget of the Town of Cary.