Embattled video store moves two blocks away

March 22, 1995|By Consella A. Lee and Andrea F. Siegel | Consella A. Lee and Andrea F. Siegel,Sun Staff Writers

A Glen Burnie adult video store has moved out of its building at 600 Crain Highway, nearly three years after nearby residents began lobbying to get rid of it.

But the operators of Glen Burnie News and Video Center set up a new shop during the weekend two blocks down the street, and the people who said they would throw a party when the store moved have canceled those plans.

"At this point, I guess it's a done deal that these kinds of stores are going to exist, and all you can try to do is get them to comply with the law," said a disappointed Deborah Brunetti, who led the fight against the store from her home on Roosevelt Boulevard less than a block from the store's old location.

The store's new neighbors behind the 800 block of Crain Highway aren't happy, either.

"I'm ticked," said Mary Ann Nellis, 57, who lives on Pershing Avenue, around the corner from the video store's new location. "I have a serious problem with it being a block from the church and a block from a school. They have a sign in the window advertising they sell POGs, which attracts children."

The store is less than a block from Corkran Middle School and the First Korean United Methodist Church.

County law requires a 1,000-foot buffer between a business dealing in sexually explicit material and residences, schools, churches and parks.

Ms. Nellis, who has lived in Glen Burnie for 12 years, said workers putting a metal grill around the store's side door woke her up Sunday morning. She said she went to the store and told the workers, "You know I don't want you here to begin with and I'm going to be looking for a reason to get you out of here, so if I were you I'd be real nice to me."

The move came less than a month before a court-imposed deadline forcing the store from its building because it carries too much sexually explicit material. County law requires video stores in residential areas to limit adult material to no more than 20 percent of available floor space. County inspectors found in January that about half of the store's merchandise was explicit, according to Deputy County Attorney David A. Plymyer.

Ronnie Muth, the store supervisor, said the store moved because "we had a chance for larger space," which will make it easier to comply with county law.

Mr. Plymyer said he was "pleased they are getting out of 600 Crain Highway."

"If they are setting up the same operation at 814 Crain Highway, then I'm displeased," he added, suggesting he would ask county inspectors to make sure the store complies with the law.

The store, which moved into space once occupied by a beauty salon, has red neon signs in the window that advertise family and adult videos.

It is divided into two sections. One sells family and general movies and magazines; the other offers adult videos and other sexual merchandise. A sign on a door warns that one must be 18 years or older to enter the adult video side of the store. Clerks are able to see people leaving and entering the room.

Nneighbors aren't impressed by the new appearance.

"It looks good, but it still has all the adult videos over there," said Charles Benner, 40, who has lived around the corner on Main Avenue about nine years. "It's just a deterioration of a family-oriented neighborhood."

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