Capital Video’s Amazing.net porn shop in Springfield, operating since 1993, has closed. The Springfield Republican reports today:
Capital Video Corp., of Cranston, R.I., decided a few weeks ago to shut down the business, Amazing.net, at 496 Bridge St., said Lesley S. Rich, general counsel for the company.
“There has been a downturn in the general economy and that affected the business,” Rich said. “The location has been slow.”
The business sold adult videos, magazines and sex toys, and provides coin-operated video viewing booths.
The corporation and city officials have been in a prolonged legal battle after the city temporarily revoked its entertainment license in November of 2007, which was needed to operate private video viewing booths. Then-Mayor Charles V. Ryan said his decision was based on police and inspector reports showing the booths had prompted crime and lewdness in 2006.
The city was sued, and lost the case in Superior Court in 2008, but filed an appeal with the Massachusetts Appeals Court. A decision is pending with the business having been allowed to operate during the appeal under various conditions.
Capital Video has no plans to close its adult video store in Northampton, which has a growing business, Rich said.
Capital Video Corp. owes the state Department of Revenue $261,486 in sales taxes, according to a filing Monday in the Hampshire County Registry of Deeds. The back taxes cover a 10-month period in 2008…
The unpaid taxes are tied to more than a dozen businesses owned and run by Capital Video Corp. in the state, including Amazing.Net on King Street, and the money represents more than $2 million in sales, according to state officials.
“It’s hard to tie one to the other, but it certainly doesn’t make our life any easier,” said Kohl, who lives nearby on Summer Street. “It’s certainly a factor in people’s considerations around leasing. … If we wanted to sell it, it would be impacted…”
Full Text of Springfield’s Decision to Revoke Capital Video’s  Viewing Booth Entertainment License
[Testimony of Ms. Erica Walch, immediate past president of the Armoury-Quadrangle Civic Association:] “…our AQCA office is directly across the street from the store, and I am able to watch the goings on when I am at the office. Men and women who live in our neighborhood … are frequently approached by men who slow down their cars and ask, ‘Are you working?’
“David B. Panagore, chief development officer for the Springfield Finance Control Board, agreed with an assertion by Tuckey [Michael M. Tuckey Sr., president of the Armoury-Quadrangle Civic Association] that a sex-oriented video and products store discourages companies that could revitalize the area from moving in.”
Springfield Police Commissioner: “…it is fair to say that ‘Amazing’ constitutes an attractive nuisance that contributes to blighted conditions there”
“We have a great interest in the quality of life in the vicinity of the triangle and have previously taken some steps to mitigate it. Much remains to be done and it is fair to say that ‘Amazing’ constitutes an attractive nuisance that contributes to blighted conditions there.”
Capital Video Springfield: Secondary Effects Extend to Prostitution; Actions the City Can Take
[Fred Rowe:] Outside, we have both male and female prostitutes standing across the street, by our building, and we have a vacant lot that we use for parking. They stand there, and they wait for [customers] to come out, and they solicit them, and they try to take them out behind our building, and do their business. It’s unbelievable.
Capital Video’s Springfield Porn Shop Repels Sought-After Businesses
“The [potential grocery] market is really the key, we think, to the whole building. The people that come, the market operator–their issue is number one, the Video Expo [Amazing.net] across the street, and the crowd that you see around it…”
Squirt member comments suggest Amazing.net’s Springfield store cycles between being (profitably) permissive, then restricting activities to avoid being shut down by the city. Similar cycles are hinted at in the comments about Amazing.net’s Kittery, Maine store (explicit). Lasting changes appear to have taken hold only when Kittery passed health regulations and removed the doors from the viewing booths.