Detroit Police Testimony: What I Saw at the Melody Theater

Our opponents are insatiable for evidence about adult businesses and secondary effects, and we mean to satisfy them. In January 2000, Kevin Smith, detective with the Metro Street Enforcement Team (Detroit), gave this testimony to the Michigan House Ethics and Constitutional Law Committee regarding anti-pornography legislation…

[We] began investigating the Melody Theater in June of 1998. I’ve been a police officer for 19 years. We were told there were certain things going on in the Melody Theater. I’ve seen just about everything you can possibly see, but once we entered the Melody Theater, I have to admit that I was shocked by what I saw. It wasn’t just the actual acts that were taking place, we more or less expected those, but by the frequency, the openness, and the operating without fear.

The Melody Theater had an elaborate system where they hired a guard that sat in the parking lot. If a police car pulled into the lot, they would radio into the people inside. They would then flash the lights in the auditorium and everybody would separate. We went in beginning our investigation in June of 98; by the end of July of 98 we had enough to close the building down. In there we saw every single imaginable act that the men, women; women and women; men and men could possibly do. Not isolated incidents, but open acts.

There were certain sections of the theater that were sectioned off for oral sex, there were other sections that were sectioned off for anal sex, and then there was the middle part, excuse me, that was for the people who just really wanted to masturbate. We took evidence tests in there; we took semen samples from floors, from walls, from door handles, from every place but the ceiling…

To say that these businesses do not impact the community is ridiculous. They do. A full 95% of the people that we arrested on the day of the raid were not from the city of Inkster…

The impact that these businesses have on the community is twofold: as I said, most of the people that come to these places are not from the community themselves. They come to impoverish cities, like the city of Inkster, and they do these types of things and then run home to the suburbs and their families… We found not only evidence of sex from condoms, we found tissue paper that was full of semen, not only in the building, but around the building. We found naked pictures of every describable act, some taken off the Internet of young boys, thrown out there in the parking lot for someone to pick up.

Once again we see another adult business where most customers are coming from outside the community. This reminds us of Gary Porter’s recent comments regarding his company’s attempt to set up a large porn shop near a residential neighborhood in Berlin, CT. “We’ll be helping the community, maybe not Berlin, but surrounding communities,” Porter said jokingly, “community service is what we’re all about.”

2 thoughts on “Detroit Police Testimony: What I Saw at the Melody Theater

  1. i was doing some research and i came across this artical. i remember the melody and when it was torn down…but all i want to say is inkster IS NOT an impoverished city. its a nice respectable suburb. i grew up there. thanks

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