Report shows years of fire code violations at New Daisy Theater

Report shows years of fire code violations at New Daisy Theater

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - WMC Action News 5 investigators uncovered serious fire code violations at the New Daisy Theater on Beale Street.

The problems went on for years, even as acts continued to be booked.

The documents only raise more questions about what was happening at the venue before it abruptly shut its doors late last year.

Despite numerous calls to the New Daisy owners, we still don't have an exact cause as to what caused this building to shut down with no notice

But one thing we do know is a lot of work needed to be done to get the building up to code.

“I think that’s the most important thing when we’re playing and performing to make sure our fans are safe,” said musician Smokin’ Joe.

Joe says he’s been playing clubs on Beale Street for years, including the New Daisy theater.

“Well a lot of people come down because New Daisy has a history, a lot of people come down because New Daisy has a history goes way back,” Joe said.

Recently, this historic concert venue has had some serious issues, including cancelling several shows.

A visit from the Memphis Fire Department Fire Prevention Bureau in October of last year revealed a slew of serious fire code violations.

The New Daisy had no exit and emergency lights, was missing electrical cover plates, curtains were not up to fire code, and the most alarming no sprinkler system or approved fire alarm system.

There was also a request to remove an accumulation of hazardous materials from the premises.

But despite the report, New Daisy continued to book shows.

Just three days after that report was taken the dubstep group, "Funtcase" performed at the theatre, followed by a long list of other performers and unsuspecting fans who likely had no idea the building's fire concerns.

“He just needs to bring it up to code,” Joe said.

We asked New Daisey’s landlord, the Downtown Memphis Commission, to comment on this situation.

They said in part:

“After the most recent inspection, Beale Street Management was informed of fire code violations that were previously grandfathered in as acceptable. Subsequently, Beale Street management has been in contact with fire officials and has already contracted with local vendors to make necessary repairs/upgrades to bring the property up to fire code.”

The building is decades old, and New Daisy underwent a major nine-month renovation and re-opened in the fall of 2015.

We pulled all of New Daisy's fire records and found fire inspectors warned them that they needed a fire alarm and sprinkler system, just three months before re-opening.

Three years later, that never happened.

Last Monday the Downtown Memphis Commission did pull a permit to complete over $75,000 in fire protection work, including installing a sprinkler system.

We were told they hope to have the New Daisy re-opened in the next 30 to 45 days.

We also reached out to the Fire Marshal’s office to see why the venue was allowed to stay open and we are still waiting for an answer.

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