Connecticut theater’s future in doubt amid noise complaints
WALLINGFORD, Conn. (AP) — Almost 30 noise complaints made in the past year could put the future of a major Connecticut music venue in jeopardy.
The Toyota Oakdale Theatre continues to be under a cease-and-desist order after Wallingford’s Zoning Board of Appeals held a hearing Wednesday night amid complaints from neighbors that music from concerts at the theater could be heard in their homes. Town Planner Kacie Costello issued the order in December and the theater appealed it to the board.
No concerts have been canceled yet as a result of the order.
The Oakdale was built in 1954 and has been a stop for well-known rock and blues bands, plays and comedians for decades, ranging from The Who, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Bruce Springsteen and B.B. King to “South Pacific” and “Oklahoma” to Don Rickles and Jerry Seinfeld.
Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga are scheduled to perform there June 29, while acts slated this year include Josh Groban and Steve Miller Band.
Costello wrote that under the theater’s 1989 special permit, Oakdale is not allowed to have concerts in the lobby, noting that noise could be heard outside the building, which violates conditions of the permit.
“So what does that condition mean?” said Joan Molloy, a lawyer for the theater. “If a noise is heard outside, it does not mean it’s produced outside.”
Molloy told the board that most of the complaints come from a few people who recently moved into the neighborhood. She said the theater is working on improvements to muffle the sound, such as decibel caps and padding to absorb bass frequencies.
“There have been ongoing shows and events in the dome since 1997, and it hasn’t been an issue until 2014,” she said.
The theater also is seeking to modify the conditions of its permit.