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Thursday, April 18, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Judge Nixes Private Video|Booths at Texas Sex Shop

(CN) - The city of Houston was entitled to shut down the private viewing booths at an adult bookstore for failure to comply with city regulations, a Texas appeals court ruled.

At 8100 North Freeway's Adult Video Megaplexxx, patrons could sexually explicit videos in the store's arcade area, which is monitored by video cameras.

Houston shut the arcade down because it found that having video cameras in the booths did not constitute a direct line of sight.

To discourage sexual activity in such booths, a city ordinance requires minimal lighting and a direct line of sight from manager to customer.

The store then renamed itself Tryst, a Lover's Boutique and expanded its inventory to include more mainstream movies, condoms, lingerie, oils and costumes. It also expanded the arcade section.

But the city still ruled that Tryst needed a permit and ordered the booths locked after obtaining a temporary restraining order.

Tryst appealed the decision, but Justice Leslie Brock Yates of the 14th appeals court in Houston ruled in the city's favor.

"8100 does not dispute that Tryst has arcade devices that are open to the public for a fee, that they display both pornographic and nonpornographic movies, and that Tryst does not have an article II permit," the ruling states. "We conclude the trial court did not abuse its discretion in granting a temporary injunction on this basis."

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