2001-03-31 / Front Page

Golden Video Yields To Chamber Demands

By Paula Montemorano

Golden Video opened its doors on Friday, March 23rd only to strike controversy throughout the community. Local business owners, community activists, and residents were outraged at pornographic material that was being displayed in the front counter.

An earlier letter from the Chamber of Commerce states, "the stores emphasis on adult products and videos, along with its 24-hour operation, is in total contradiction with the vision and goals we have set to make 116 Street a more desirable business area and destination for families in our community." The letter also states that the Chamber will do everything in its power to make sure that the business will operate to the very letter of the law.

According to Captain Scott Probeck, who addressed the 100th Precinct Community Council on Wednesday night, the new owners have been visited by the community affairs officers as well as detectives from the precinct. Probeck assured those in attendance that the store was operating under the law, with a 65 to 35 percentage of "regular, new releases, classics, etc" to "porn" movies. (The law only requires a 60 to 40 percent).

After speaking with Chamber President Liz Sulik on Thursday, March 29, The Wave was informed that business owners Michael and Mark have agreed to extract such material from the display case and put it in the back room where adult films were being sold. Owners also agreed to replace the beaded doorway with a door and buzzer system, which would prohibit minors from straggling in.

Wave News Editor Joan George personally visited the new video store Wednesday evening after the 100th Precinct Community Council meeting. According to Mrs. George, everything Sulik asked the new owners to do was already done. She reported that all porn was gone from the shelves of the main room, and every porn item was removed to a private back room that can only be entered by a video club member, with proof of age of 21. The "door", she was told, would be in by Monday, along with the new releases for rent, the likes of which former Rockaway Video customers will be shopping for.

Although Golden Video has established a better place of business for the community, Democratic Leader Lew Simon is tentatively holding a rally outside of the video store on Monday, April 2 at 6 p.m. protesting the pornographic material sold inside. Simon urges all local residents to attend in "helping to close this smut factory." Lew also pleads, "Do not shop there. Don’t walk into the store."

The building that houses the new business is owned by Steve McCormack and Tim and Bernadette Mahoney, the former owners of Rockaway Video. McCormack confirmed with his new tenants Wednesday that they are operating completely within the percentage law. The McCormack and the Mahoneys were former civic leaders, having served as president and board members of the Rockaway Park Business Development Association. They led the helm of this organization for many years fostering the much needed revitalization of Beach 116 Street.

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