Thursday, March 19, 2009
Vancouver porn theatre may get XXXed
A pornographic movie theatre in Vancouver's eastside neighbourhood may become history following complaints that it attracts sex workers.
The Fox Cinema on Main Street near Kingsway has been screening hard-core pornography for the last 25 years.
Vancouver city hall will consider suspending or revoking its business licence during a public hearing scheduled for next Tuesday. The city's licence department said Thursday that the hearing is quasi-judicial. The department wouldn't give further comment.
Some neighbouring businesses said the theatre's clientele behaves like the actors in the films it shows.
"Suddenly we noticed, like, prostitutes, all kinds of craziness, people getting naked in our doorway. Things happening that don't seem OK anymore," said Veronika Baspaly, who owns a boutique next door.
But Fox's owner, Lisa Huang, said her neighbours' complaints are misguided.
"You go [to] other places, you may see prostitutes, too, even [in] downtown or everywhere in Vancouver. That's not our problem. We don't attract them," said Huang, who bought the theatre 10 years ago.
Vancouver police issued a warning to the theatre last year after complaints about the presence of sex workers, "so if we see a prostitute come in, we refuse to let them in," Huang said.
Huang has received 35 signatures of support from surrounding businesses and hopes that will help sway the city.
John Robertson, who has run a shop a few doors down for almost 30 years, said new business owners who moved into the area recently seem to have problems with the Fox.
"But they knew that coming in," Robertson said. "The Fox theatre hasn't changed. If anything, it looks a little nicer than it did a few years ago."
Created: March 25, 2009
Last modified: June 20, 2009
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