Editor’s note: I learned that Cap Video wrote the City Council and the Mayor yesterday about its plans for its store in Northampton, and its willingness to discuss matters with the City. So, I asked Cap Video to send me a copy and the below is what I received, including pictures of the interiers and exteriors of a store. In a follow up email to me Cap Video indicated that it would be willing to upscale even further its exteriors and interiors to be more tasteful and conservative in presentation than in the store appearing in the pictures.
Dear Mayor Higgins and City Council Members:
I am writing on behalf of CAPITAL VIDEO CORPORATION to clear up any misconceptions regarding its proposed business in your community.
Capital Video operates over 40 'AMAZING' stores featuring the concept of “Excite Your Life”. The stores are oriented more as a ‘sensuality’ style business, with a focus on couples and women in the adult market. The company operates a few high visibility stores, including units on Rte 9 in Northboro, MA; on Rte 1 in Peabody, MA; and a store off of Rte 95 in Providence, RI. These stores are designed in a ‘mainstream’ manner, much like one would see in a Victoria Secret in a mall, with pleasant colors, music, carpeting. The stores carry a wide variety of adult novelty items, along with lingerie, gag gifts like one finds at Spencer Gifts, greeting cards, lotions, games, along with sexually and sensually oriented movies and magazines. Amazing even sells higher priced original erotic and sensual art and memorabilia. Attached hereto are pictures of actual operating Amazing stores.
Capital intends on opening an 'upscale' store in Northampton, and would be very receptive to discussions with the community on the look, feel and the approach that the store presents to the community. Unfortunately, a campaign has been waged against our business by individuals that have maligned the reputation of Capital Video. Contrary to published reports, Capital enjoys an excellent relationship with its host communities, and has not encountered any of the problems or detrimental effects that have been put forth. Our employees and the stores they operate are responsible members of their communities. A recent article in the Stonington Times in North Stonington, CT highlighted our store and its employees, exemplifying that they have been accepted with open arms by the community. There is absolutely no truth that our business increases crime, or detracts from the neighborhood in which we operate.
The ability for Capital Video to work with the community has been short circuited by the presentation of certain ordinances that have not allowed for any discussion about Capital’s specific plans, except for the short presentations given during the open council session. The company is not blind to the fact that sexuality and sensuality are touchy subjects, and it has an obligation to present itself in a mature and non-offensive manner. Capital’s intention is to drive more pedestrian traffic to the proposed location on King Street, and to create an environment that would enhance the development of other businesses in the area. We would be hopeful to be having a dialogue with the community to work on a plan that will improve the area, and provide a comfortable environment to all.
Northampton does not need the ordinances that have been proposed regarding adult businesses. The assumption that the proposed plans of Capital will be detrimental to the community are totally misplaced. Creating laws that are focused on stopping one business almost always creates reprecussions to many other businesses. Why create a law that is just not needed?
Capital Video encourages the Council to consider all the facts before it makes a rash decision, and hopes that the community will maintain its present laws that provide a culture that is sensitive to the needs of all members of the community.
Lesley S. Rich, Esq., CPA General Counsel
Capital Video Corporation
1060 Park Avenue Cranston, RI 02910