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Flynt Will Open in Ft. Lauderdale

FORT LAUDERDALE · Giving directions to Victoria Park is going to get much easier, now that a flashy piece of Larry Flynt’s sex empire is coming to town.

An artist’s rendering of his proposed Hustler Hollywood — which officials now concede they can’t keep from opening — shows what’s planned: an in-your-face storefront with a thick central column that shouts out in neon, blocks from a church and neighborhood.

“I don’t believe our laws will permit the kind of garish and over-the-top advertisement they’ve provided us with, but even still it goes to show you how they perceive themselves,” said Vice Mayor Dean Trantalis, the leader behind the city’s effort to quickly rewrite laws so the store can be regulated.

“It’s definitely not Fort Lauderdale, and it’s definitely not Victoria Park. The fact that they had the audacity to propose that shows how insensitive they are to what the cultural norm is for our community.”

Despite some residents’ outcry against the store, officials admit now that nothing they can do will stop its opening. If the shop is to be regulated, it will be after it’s been open and has a sales history.

“I think we have to accept that something is going to be opened there by Larry Flynt,” Trantalis said Friday, “and we’re just looking to reduce the impacts to the community.”

City permit records indicate the Hustler organization hasn’t been scared off by Fort Lauderdale’s talk. The former Peaches music shop at the southeast corner of Sunrise Boulevard and Northeast 15th Avenue is being transformed, and permits for a retail renovation, electrical, plumbing, landscaping, sound system and other work has been paid for and, in some cases, approved.

Meanwhile, city officials said they should prepare for a lawsuit against their efforts to limit the window displays and the amount of sex material the store can sell.

“I think based on the applicant,” said City Attorney Harry Stewart, “what we know of the applicant, the litigation history of the applicant, there’s little doubt that no matter what step we might take in this process that is unusual or out of the ordinary, it will be challenged.”

Nevertheless, commissioners unanimously agreed to ask the city Planning and Zoning Board for a new law aimed at Flynt’s store.

“This commission should show its commitment to try to do whatever it can to impede the progress of the opening of this adult book store under the old law, which would allow it to sell the 30, 40 up to 51 percent of materials that are sexually explicit or adult themed,” said Trantalis.

No one in City Hall is sure what the store plans to offer. But if it’s anything like Flynt’s other Hustler Hollywoods, it will offer a variety of sexually oriented videos, books, sex toys, massage lotions, clothing and coffee — possibly even food.

Under Fort Lauderdale’s current law, an adult book store or adult video store is not allowed within 500 feet of churches, residential, schools or parks, if sales of adult materials amount to 51 percent or more.

But Flynt’s store may offer such a wide a variety of items that it might not be snagged under the law, because books or videos alone might not make up more than half the sales.

“We need a new ordinance,” said Mayor Jim Naugle, “because now we’re dealing with an adult supermarket.”

In the latest draft of Fort Lauderdale’s proposed law, the total of all types of adult items could not exceed 40 percent, Stewart told commissioners Tuesday night. The law also would ban the window display of sexual material.



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