Capital Video Added Viewing Booths to its Wethersfield Store Just Last Year

Some porn shop defenders have said that now that Capital Video dropped viewing booths from its Northampton plans, there’s nothing to get excited about. But plans can change.

NPN visited Capital Video’s Wethersfield (CT) store in September. The clerk there said the store had been in operation for about 13 years. Only last year, however, did Capital Video install several porn viewing booths in the back of the store.

It’s plausible to consider that Capital Video may have a two-step approach in mind for Northampton.

18 thoughts on “Capital Video Added Viewing Booths to its Wethersfield Store Just Last Year

  1. Is that why Wethersfield has been decimated by crime, porn addicts, and severely depressed property values? Is everyone fleeing the town? Is the sky truly falling there?

    What effect has this had on the town?

  2. Plenty of things that are not crimes are bad ideas nonetheless. The fact that something happens to be legal doesn’t mean people should necessarily quietly accept it. Please read our FAQ.

  3. All interesting questions. But it’s not a straight comparison. The Wethersfield store is located on a highway strip (the Berlin Turnpike). There were few if any homes visible in the area, or schools, or houses of worship. There were no sidewalks, and I don’t recall seeing any pedestrians walking by during my visits. It’s simply a far less vulnerable area than 135 King Street, and you’re much less likely to have children around.

    Based on the other Capital Video locations I’ve seen, it is an unusually aggressive move for them to try to put a large porn shop in a pedestrian area, surrounded by homes, with churches nearby and a school of dance across the street. No wonder they’re experiencing so much opposition.

  4. I’m not sure what you’re getting at here, but if you want details on the Des Moines situation, their Adult Use Study provides 75 pages of it.

    Why don’t we check in with the people who know best about their city, the citizens of Des Moines?

    “Over the years, there has been a great deal of objection by Des Moines area residents to adult uses and the showing of adult movies in the community. The City has hundreds of letters and petition signatures on file objecting to these uses dated from 1974 to the present. These letters and petitions represent over 600 households, and all but two are opposed to adult businesses.”

  5. My point is that you base your dire predictions of secondary effects in part on the experiences of Minneapolis and Des Moines. Yet, with a city much closer to Northampton has a more similar experience, you say that the impact can’t be judged because the neighborhood is different.

  6. What evidence can you offer that a Capital Video store will turn King Street into a cheerless highway strip (Yes, I’m asking the questions again). Are you trying to say that before Capital Video came to Meriden, the cheerless highway strip was cheerful? If so, please provide evidence to support your point.

  7. As Rudy Giuliani knows, small things matter. If you want to have a safe, economically vibrant, pedestrian-friendly downtown shopping area, you need to consider the size and nature of the businesses there. City planners build this vision piece by piece. The experience in New York, Des Moines, Blaine (WA) and elsewhere strongly suggests a large adult business is not helpful to realize this vision.

    854 Northampton residents have signed our petition to date. That suggests a signficant number of local citizens are uncomfortable with having certain adult businesses close to downtown. It’s reasonable to conclude they would be less likely to shop in the area or use the services there, let alone buy a home in the neighborhood.

  8. So, you don’t have any evidence? How many of those 854 are “local” residents? How are you defining local resident? How many currently shop in the area or use services in the area? How “less likely” would they be if Capital Video were there? You’re speculating.

    Again: what what the cheerless strip like before Capital Video arrived? I don’t want to know about Blaine or Des Moines or New York City: I want to know about the experiences of Wethersfield, CT. You want to use it as an example, but you don’t seem willing to provide more evidence.

  9. Jeff, if you won’t recognize evidence as evidence, I can’t help you. Our kind of evidence in this matter is good enough for our courts. I hope you’re not a judge. You probably wouldn’t uphold the conviction of anyone.

    All of the 854 local residents who signed our petition are those who gave a Northampton address on our form.

  10. I don’t know why you feel compelled to insult me. I understand that the 854 people are Northampton residents. I want to know how many shop regularly on King Street, in the vicinity of the proposed shop? It seems relevant to the discussion here.

    If you think what you’ve presented is “good enough” then I pity your clients.

    And yes, I am a judge precisely because I’m a citizen of Northampton who is judging the validity of your argument. In other words, I’m the type of person you should be trying to convince of the rightness of your argument. You have the perfect opportunity; what happens to Wethersfield would be highly relevant. Yet, you don’t seem willing to present that evidence. Why not? Could it be that there is not evidence that Capital Video turned that area of Wethersfield into a “cheerless highway strip”?

  11. I don’t mean to insult you personally, but I do mean to call attention to your unreasonable standards of evidence.

    The available information about adult businesses and their secondary effects has been enough to motivate Northampton’s mayor, several city councilors, and a majority of the planning board to tighten up the city’s regulations, not to mention the 1,100+ people who have signed our petition to date. There will always be a few people whom we simply can’t persuade to our side, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of them.

  12. I’m sorry that you aren’t willing to present more relevant evidence than what you’ve already presented. And don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched: you know as well as I do that the discussion last night left a lot of doubt hanging in the air about how this will play in front of the whole city council. I’ll do my best to point out to each and every one of them how flawed your evidence is and your inability to present more relevant evidence.

  13. We’re always finding new evidence, and we’ll publish it as we do. I am confident that Northampton’s elected officials are well aware of the reasonable concerns of the majority of voters on this issue and will make the right decision.

    At yesterday’s ordinance committee/planning board meeting, council president Michael Bardsley characterized the evidence against adult businesses as “more than enough”.

  14. And David Wilensky said the ordinance is a “terrible idea.” And Wayne Feiden said that he knows of no trouble caused by stores selling pornography in town.

    As I said, don’t count your chickens. And please, publish your new evidence. I HAVE been waiting.

  15. Your stance, and that of Mr. Wilensky, questioning whether it’s bad to locate large adult businesses near homes, is more extreme than even that of Robert Zicari. Let’s revisit our post of August 23:

    Notorious Pornographer: Giant Porno Stores Not Appropriate for Residential Neighborhoods (explicit language)

    As reported in


    magazine, May 2004:

    Robert Zicari is known in the porn industry as Rob Black. His wife Janet, a six-year porn veteran, is known as Lizzy Borden…

    “Under the banner of their company, Extreme Associates, the pair are known for producing material that even fellow pornographers find objectionable. Their videos are products of a jaded, hypermediated era: explicit porn coupled with the over-the-top gore of slasher movies and the stunts and gross-out spectacles of reality TV….

    “Zicari’s general sense of decency actually extends beyond prohibiting child porn and dog sex. ‘I’m not a person who thinks that everybody should watch pornography,’ he insists. ‘If you want to open up a giant porno store with jack booths and stuff like that, and you’re gonna plop it inside a [residential] community with nice lawns, and they don’t want it, I’m the first person who’s like, ‘Dude, you’re totally right, it’s kind of fucked up we put this place right here in the middle of your neighborhood.” But he also believes that people should be able to view his videos in the privacy of their own homes….

    “‘In 1973, the Miller test had merits,’ says Zicari. ‘It gave people a way to control these seedy fucking porno stores in their community. Now, a private citizen buys my shit from the privacy of his own home, and that’s where he watches it….'”

    Read the complete article

    (paid archive).

    Needless to say, we are not as sympathetic to the porn industry as Reason is, but we were certainly gratified to see someone like Zicari say porn shop operators should heed community objections.

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