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Metro’s Adult Video Site Closes Its Doors Due to Bad Economy It Says

SPRINGFIELD, Rhode Island – from – A Rhode Island corporation in a prolonged legal battle with the city over its adult video store has closed the Bridge Street business, saying the downturn in the economy has hurt its trade at the location.

Capital Video Corp., of Cranston, R.I., decided a few weeks ago to shut down the business,, 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.

The company had operated an adult store in Springfield since 1993, and did not rule out finding a new location in Springfield in the future.

The corporation was leasing the Bridge Street site at an intersection known as the Apremont Triangle. In addition to the downturn in business, the building was in disrepair, Rich said.

A state Appeals Court panel heard arguments in the city’s appeal last month during a session at the Western New England College School of Law. At one point, during a discussion of standards that can be legally applied in granting or refusing an entertainment license, Judge David A. Mills said, “Sleazy doesn’t necessarily equate with illegal.”

The corporation will continue to await the Appeals Court decision, but “it’s somewhat moot at this point,” Rich said.

“It’s more of a legal issue as to whether the city had the right to do what it did,” Rich said.

The city, claiming knowledge of “lewd and lascivious behavior” at the store, ordered the business in March to remove the doors of all 13 video booths used by its customers, intending to stop the behavior.

The store is now vacant and the sign for has been removed.


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