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State Line Video Ordered to Stop Renovations

ATTLEBORO, Massachusetts — A Washington Street X-rated video store that beat the city in a court battle over the construction of video viewing booths a few years ago is under scrutiny again.

State Line Video was ordered by the city recently to stop renovations it has begun on the 10 booths it won the right to use in a 2003 court case.

Building Inspector Doug Semple took the action after it was discovered that the business at 1124 Washington St. appeared to be enlarging the booths.

Semple said the larger booths would change the use of the store to an “ adult motion picture theater,” which needs a special permit from the city council.

The business, which is under new ownership, did not have a permit for the work.

The original booths were designed for one person to view video clips of sexually explicit movies before deciding to buy or rent them. The clips cost $1 for six minutes of viewing time a few years ago.

But Semple said the new booths under construction appear to be bigger. At least one, and sometimes two, bench seats were added that would accommodate more than one person, he said.

“ Our preliminary decision is that the store has changed from an adult video store to an adult motion picture theater,” Semple said. “ If the booths are being modified to accommodate more than one individual, that’s a change of use and the owner will need a special permit.”

Chris Towne, a spokesman for the new owner, Goalie Entertainment which is headquartered in Colorado, declined to comment for the record.

Last year, Goalie owner Ed Wedelstedt of Colorado was indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice on racketeering, obscenity and tax charges. He eventually pleaded guilty on one count of a 23 count indictment and was sentenced to 13 months in federal prison, according to information found on the Internet and the U.S. Department of Justice Web site.

Meanwhile, Goalie has been asked to supply a floor plan for the State Line work. Once the plan is submitted, Semple will render a final decision.

If Semple concludes the work needs a special permit, Goalie would be able to appeal to the city’s zoning board.

Semple said State Line has been cooperative during the inquiry.

Three years ago, the store, then owned by RVS Associates of Providence, R.I. won a court battle after the city alleged the smaller booths, which were added sometime after the store opened in 1996, constituted a change of use to an “ adult motion picture theater.”

A judge ruled however that the small booths were a “ natural expansion” of the existing video use.

They did not impose any additional parking problems for the neighborhood, the judge ruled.

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