Doll Hut Seeks Permit

The Doll Hut in Anaheim, Calif., is known for hosting up-and-coming bands in its long history but its new owner has discovered a little known fact: The venue’s live music legacy is illegal, according to the city, and could come to an end.

City officials reportedly told Doll Hut owner Juan Reynoso he needs to meet certain requirements to qualify for a $250 "public dance hall" permit in order to charge admission to concerts. That detail apparently hadn’t come up with the city before Reynoso took over, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"Without the bands, I don’t have the customers," Reynoso told the Times. "Most nights, this place is dead."

Planning department official Bill Sell said the city didn’t know the Doll Hut was charging admission until Reynoso reapplied for an entertainment permit.

"I’ve been around here 32 years and I’ve never known they’ve had prominent bands that played there," Sell told the paper. "During our inspections, we were never there when they were charging a fee. If we were, they’d have been required to have the proper permit."

Sell added that his staff is recommending the city approve Reynoso’s application for the permit.

Reynoso has paid for venue upgrades, such as installing a new air conditioning unit, carpeting the stage, painting the outside of the building and re-striping the parking lot. A new sound system is also in the works, the paper said.

Doll Hut manager Dirk Belling said word-of-mouth has prompted local bands to volunteer to fill empty dates in the club’s concert schedule. Meanwhile, he plans to attend the August 6th city planning commission meeting where the club’s live music future will be discussed.

"We’ve got a piece of undeniable Orange County rock history," Belling told the Times. "The list of bands that have gone through the Doll Hut and on to greater things is significant. We want to make it clear that it will be really hard for the Doll Hut to survive if the owner can’t charge admission."

Pollstar’s attempt to reach Reynoso or Belling was unsuccessful at press time.