Sex shop removes explicit video from window

By Shaamini Yogaretnam

EDMONTON — A 24-hour sex shop on Stony Plain Road has stopped playing pornographic video footage in its front window after police deemed the video potentially offensive, even though area shop-owners and patrons hadn’t made formal complaints.

Centrefold Adult Entertainment Centre on Stony Plain Road

XXX Centrefold Adult Entertainment Centre, located at 15108 Stony Plain Rd., still has a television screen mounted in its shop window even though Edmonton Police Service has asked them to remove the sexual video footage. The screen now solely plays advertisements for the shop. Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011. Photograph by Shaamini Yogaretnam.

Centrefold Adult Entertainment Centre, located on the corner of 151 Street and Stony Plain Road, has a television screen mounted in its shop window facing the well-travelled road. The screen played video footage of women in sexual scenarios spliced with ads for the shop. The erotic video has since been removed, while the ads that highlight the shop’s hours and products continue to play.

Although police had not received any complaints, they were informally told about the footage from community members. Edmonton Police Service then went in to Centrefold to look at the feed and the footage.

“What they found is it wasn’t obscene, it wasn’t criminal, but it was still seen as possibly offensive and not appropriate with the pedestrian and street traffic in the community,” said Chad Orydzuk, a spokesman for the Edmonton Police Service.

Local business owners are more surprised that they hadn’t received any complaints than they are about the footage being used in the first place.

Julie Sagan, who has operated Bikram Yoga across the street from Centrefold since July 2008, said she had not received any complaints about the X-rated footage, although she has taken steps to shield her clients from the area’s sights and sounds.

“I had one lady that commented ‘Wow, this is a pretty sketchy area,’” Sagan said of a client who was driving in the neighbourhood trying to find the yoga studio.

Bikram’s clients, many of whom don’t live in the area and aren’t familiar with the other businesses on Stony Plain Road, access the studio from a back door that is just south of the road and doesn’t put them into contact with the other businesses on the strip.

Sagan has also frosted the windows to make her clients more comfortable in the studio. Passers-by can’t peer in through the window while her students are in classes, and the students needn’t worry about getting an eyeful of the surrounding area.

Diane Kereluk, executive director of the Stony Plain Road and Area Business Association said she hadn’t been aware of any complaints about the footage being played by Centrefold.

“We haven’t received any complaints but that doesn’t necessarily mean that people aren’t complaining,” Kereluk said.

Centrefold is automatically a member of the business association simply by falling into the designated zone that the association covers, said Kereluk.

An employee at Centrefold Adult Entertainment Centre refused to comment or give his name when contacted at the time the erotic footage was still being played. The owner of the business could not be reached for comment.

Police will continue to monitor the shop and its advertising.

The shop itself offers peep shows, adult video rentals and toys to aid in the sexual experience.