Porn Cinema in Vancouver

Licence threated of the last porn cinema in Vancouver

20th March

Out Foxed...

Last hardcore cinema in Vancouver under threat

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 35 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.

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. I started calling the police every time I saw something illegal going on, she said: You don't have to be a genius to know that illegal activity goes on in porn theatres.

But Fox's owner, Lisa Huang, said her neighbours' complaints are misguided.

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. The Fox theatre hasn't changed. If anything, it looks a little nicer than it did a few years ago.


14th May

Updated: Fox Warning...

Last hardcore cinema in Vancouver continues under warning

Despite police reports of indecent acts taking place inside the Fox Theatre, the city decided not to rescind the business licence of Vancouverís last pornography cinema.

Some local whingers had complained the theatre was attracting prostitution and drug use to the area, and city hall staff recommended that its business licence be pulled.

Plainclothes police officers visited the theatre a number of times this year and reported seeing sex acts being committed between male patrons and indecent acts by others, along with persons illegally smoking inside the theatre.

A hearing to lift the licence began in late March, when the three presiding councillors heard from police about the indecent acts and smoking. The hearing was then adjourned with owner Lisa Huang promising to tighten up procedures, do regular inspections and report any incidents in a log book. However, two police officers visited the theatre April 10 and reported that nothing much had changed.

City solicitor Tom Zworski said city staff wanted the business licence revoked because of the detrimental impact the theatre had on the neighbourhood, due to the clients it attracted and because of what took place inside.

However, the lawyer representing the theatre said none of the incidents reported was egregious enough for the theatre to be put to death. Councillors Heather Deal and Kerry Jang agreed. Committee chairwoman Coun. Suzanne Anton expressed misgivings about the way the theatre was being run in view of what the police found April 10, but she agreed with Deal that restrictions should be imposed.

Huang was told that staff had to check inside the theatre every half hour and to keep a log of what was observed. She was told she must meet with the local Business Improvement Association to discuss local business concerns, and to meet with the cityís chief licensing inspector. Anton told Huang that if things didnít change and another hearing was held, she faced the likelihood of being denied a business licence.



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