With the recent unfortunate deadly fire in Oakland at the Ghost Ship Warehouse, LA is now cracking down on these kinds of parties and “venues.”
LA Weekly spoke with the man behind Purple 33, 56-year-old Donald Cassel who hosted underground parties in his two-story warehouse, off Jefferson Boulevard in Del Rey, at the western edge of Culver City. He calls his parties a “private culture community space.” After the fire in Oakland where 36 people died, Los Angeles is starting to shut down warehouses.
Where the walls are covered in art, instruments, and memories, the home-like Purple 33 loft encountered a notice saying he can no longer use his life/work space to host parties or any other events from the LA Fire Department and the Department of Buliding and Safety.
“They’re basically saying you can do your business here, but it can’t be that business. And you can’t live here. So it’s basically shutting me down entirely.”
Cassel believes, like many others, that unconventional venues like his should be streamlined to operate legally, making it easier to talk to authorities and departments about these kinds of situations. With all the money spent on permits, $70,000 of Cassel’s money to create Purple 33, it becomes hard for people like Cassel to approach the city when they could take your money and deny your permit anyways.
Purple 33 is setting a precedent, one of the first of many shut downs in LA, but that doesn’t stop Cassel. He’s hoping to organize a group that can lobby City Hall to change the current zoning laws, to make it easier for live/work/event spaces like his own Purple 33 can exist legally.
“I want to do it again. I’m not a quitter. I’m willing to do it again and show, hopefully, that it can be done. I’m not trying to hide anything. I’m trying to make it so we can set a precedent so others can follow and it won’t be this underground stuff all over town.”
For more details into the Purple 33 shut down, read LA Weekly’s article HERE.