Photo by Andreas Kruck via Unsplash

With museums dedicated to mathematics or transits, niche museums are not foreign to New York City. The New York Office of Nightlife (ONL) proposed the establishment of the Museum of Nightlife in the City that Never Sleeps on June 10. 

In the 162-page report, the Museum of Nightlife will memorialize the history of New York’s iconic and unique after-hours and nightlife activities. Essentially, it will highlight the importance and integral nature of nightlife culture to New York. 

The report also covered a common and long-standing issue of the nightlife industry: noise complaints. It suggests that the city fund the construction of soundproofing nightclubs and nightlife destinations throughout the five boroughs. Additionally, the report mentions ways in which to help nightlife entrepreneurs get their foot in the door, such as streamlining the process between city and state to help with permits and inspections. 

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Other recommendations that the report covers includes:

  • Changing how complaints are assessed
  • Creating incentives to soundproof
  • Encouraging and promoting consent awareness and harm reduction programs 

ONL officials told the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that it is too early to discuss further details about the proposal, such as if the museum would be funded by the city or if other organizations will be involved. 

According to ONL, the institution will cover the history of nightlife in New York from the early 1900s to present day, focusing on iconic, influential venues that have closed such as the Cotton Club in Harlem or Studio 54 in Midtown. Additionally, ONL added that the museum can act as a community center and performing arts space. 

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The report was released by ONL, which was established in 2018 as a part of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME). Mayor Bill De Blasio created ONL as a way of portraying nightlife as an economic asset and a crucial component of the city’s culture. 

“Historically, it [nightlife culture] has been seen more as a liability than as an asset,” Ariel Palitz, the Senior Executive Director of ONL appointed in March 2018, told the WSJ

In a 2019 report by ONL, the New York City’s nightlife industry produced approximately “$20 billion in economic impact” annually, with 25,000 venues and about 300,000 jobs.  

Club owners have been generally supportive of the proposal. Yoram Roth, a German entrepreneur and founding investor of Genossenschaft für urbane Kreativität, which created Kater Blau, one of Germany’s nightclubs, tweeted his support for the idea of a Museum of Nightlife.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, the nightlife industry took a hit. Many clubs in the city haven’t been able to open its doors until health measures relaxed in recent weeks. 

“It [Museum of Nightlife] could be very educational,” Noah Tepperberg, co-chief executive officer of the most prominent nightlife operators in the city, Tao Group Hospitality, told the WSJ

Scriberr News reached out to Ariel Palitz but did not hear back by press deadline. 

Scriberr News reached out to Noah Tepperberg but did not hear back by press deadline. 

Scriberr News reached out to several nightclubs in New York City but did not hear back by press deadline. 

Written ByVivian Kwang

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