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Club Jessica Jaymes - Official Website

July 31, 2002 09:25pm
Peep Show Over on 42nd Street
Source: Reuters
by: Gunna Dickson

(NEW YORK, NY) -- Take a last leer, Peep-O-Rama, the last adult entertainment shop on New York's once-sleazy West 42nd Street, is history.

The 24-hour porn palace, with its $1 video booths, sex toys and single-sale condoms, was closed on Wednesday, ending a chapter in the clean-up of an area that was once known for crime, prostitution, drugs and sex palaces and is now home to office blocks and family friendly souvenir shops.

At 3 p.m. landlord Shan Covey hung a red sign that said "Closed" in large white-block letters and handed the key to a lawyer representing the Durst Organization, which will develop the site into an office building.

On a dilapidated marquee above the shuttered shop front, only two of about 100 small bulbs were lit while a third blinked forlornly, framing a circular "25 cents", a reference to what it once cost to view a few moments of a sex show.

"Alleluia, praise be to God!" said a woman passer-by who witnessed the hand-over ceremony.

"It's good for families, but dirt has always been a part of Times Square," complained a young man wearing a New York Yankees top. "You can never get rid of vice though. Now everyone will have to go to L.A."

The closing of Peep-O-Rama is "great news for the city", said Cristyne L. Nicholas, president and CEO of NYC & Company, the city's official tourism marketing organization with a membership of more than 1,400 businesses, including museums, hotels, restaurants, retail stores, cinemas, tour organizations and attractions.

Nicholas was once part of the administration of former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani that began the cultural and economic renaissance effort in Times Square. The shift saw the ubiquitous peep shows, strip joints and triple-X cinemas shuttered to make way for shops such as the Disney Store and Toys R Us.

"The city has become a family destination. The development we've witnesses over the last five years would not have been possible if shops like Peep-O-Rama were abundant," she said.

But not everyone agreed the change was good for New York.

"It's regrettable," said a woman in a smartly-tailored grey trouser suit, her face set in a frown. "It was such a part of the fabric of old New York. Any day now, I expect to see a mouse with big white gloves directing traffic."

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