Victoria Theatre’s Owner: Anti-Porn Hypocrite

houston_det.jpgWe’ve all been keeping up with the anti-porn hysteria surrounding Kink.com’s purchase (and plans to restore) the Armory, but little has been done to examine the few people behind the so-called “neighborhood outcry”. Imagine my surprise when I read on the Blowfish blog (local sex toy retailer) that among the signatures of the most disgusting “what about the children” letters to the Chronicle was none other than Victoria Theatre owner Anita Correa. She was also quoted against Kink.com and adult employment in the recent NYT piece. What brought my attention to this turn of hypocrisy in an institution long-known for support of arts, LGBT entertainment (like porn panels) and very adult performances (like burlesque shows) was Correa’s sudden refusal — yesterday — to show local lesbian filmmaker Pink and White Productions‘ premiere (Blowfish is P&W’s producer). According to Blowfish’s Christophe Pettus, Correa had verbally agreed to host the opening night at the Victoria on February 6, and was advised (in person) of the film’s adults-only content. But now it appears that in a hasty effort to maintain her newfound prudery, she’s ripped the rug out from under P&W claiming “concerns from the community” about NC-17 content and that offensive material is against Victoria’s policies, all while refusing to state the theater’s policies to Blowfish.

Shall we point out that the Victoria has shown plenty of porn in the past? Or that Pink and White’s films are award-winning darlings of LGBT international film fests? No, let’s read Blowfish.com’s press release about the Victoria — usual home of LGBT film fests — censoring a local lesbian director. I’ll bet Ms. Correa hasn’t been in the audience of her own theater in a long, long time (and thus is a bit ‘out of touch’ with the ‘community’). Pictured: Pink and White’s director Shine Louise Houston.

9 Comments so far

  1. Chester (unregistered) on February 21st, 2007 @ 1:18 pm

    Just to start off, I’m definitely not against the Kink.com move into the Armory. And Correa’s refusal to run P&W strikes me as lame.

    That said:
    1) There are legitimate points with which to object to the Kink.com move-in. While I think it’s lame to reject a porn studio out-of-hand, I can’t blame a neighborhood for being disappointed that the site was not converted into housing or into another use that would benefit the ‘hood in a broader and deeper manner.

    In that vein, I don’t have too much of a problem with Correa’s quotes in the NYT:

    “Everybody thought it was going to be housing, and then mid-January, we get this bomb…Everybody was taken by shock…The new owner said they would create jobs. But what kind of jobs are we talking about here?”

    Her points are: the neighborhood thought the site would become housing, they were shocked when it turned out to be something else, and she raises some sort of question as to jobs at Kink.com. What is offensive in these sentiments? The last is the most contentious, but it’s vague and the precise meaning is unknown.

    I think it’s legitimate to question the benefit of Kink.com as an employer in the neighborhood if the jobs it offers are primarily in the fields of porn performance and film production. I think it’s also legitimate to question the number of jobs that would be offered as well as the potential growth in those jobs.

    2) Correa is not “censoring” P&W. She is refusing to show their film. The actual result (the film not being shown at the Victoria) might be nominally the same, but, to me, “censor” carries the implication of some sort of legal or regulatory power over content. Correa doesn’t have this status and is simply exercising the prerogative of a business owner, as is her right.

    Is it hypocritical for her to now refuse content that she supposedly would have shown before? If that’s the case, perhaps (I don’t know, myself, what she used to show)? But probably not. If she has sincerely changed her stance on such material, then it’s just simply changing her mind. It’s only “hypocrisy” if she doesn’t actually believe it.

    My point in this comment isn’t to be pedantic about semantics. It just bothers me to see words like “censor” and “hypocrite” being used in way that, I think, has an inflammatory rather than descriptive intent. Your arguments hold more weight when the rhetoric is more pure, as far as I’m concerned.


  2. Leiza (unregistered) on February 21st, 2007 @ 4:11 pm

    Why the sudden outcry against porn? Why the sudden aversion to porn on the part of the Victoria’s owner? I wonder if the following provides some hints:

    An article in the San Francisco Bay Guardian suggests that the protests against Kink.com are really about attempts to discredit affordable housing advocates (as in, “They opposed gentrification, so now you’ve got porn in your neighborhood!”).

    A San Francisco Gate article protesting Kink.com is by two members of the Mission Merchant Association board of directors (including the Victoria’s owner), as well as a board member of the nonprofit Mission Housing Development Corporation.

    This 2004 article in the progressive press describes previous upheaval within Mission Housing Development, and this business press article describes a split between Mission Housing Development and the Mission Anti-displacement Coalition.


  3. dave (unregistered) on February 21st, 2007 @ 6:00 pm

    Dear Chester,

    Of course it is legitimate to question any new business that moves into a neighborhood. However, Anita Correa didn’t just question the move, she used the Victoria Theatre to motivate people to make signs saying “Dead End Jobs” and protest. The problem is that she never showed the basic respect of talking to kink.com on any level. If she has asked the employees whether their jobs were “dead end” she would have got the response in this video.

    Ever wonder why the Mission Anti Displacement Coalition has been strangely quiet all this time? They took the time to meet with kink.com and ask questions about jobs, and they were satisfied with the answers.

    Thanks
    Dave, kink.com employee


  4. H Frown (unregistered) on February 21st, 2007 @ 11:30 pm

    God, Chester is living proof that mental masturbation is still a favorite pasttime in SF.
    Kink.com has every right to do whatever legal things they want to do behind those armory walls. If the mission merchants want to be able to pick their neighbors, then maybe they should check out some of the lovely gated communities that surround SF.


  5. Open Discussion (unregistered) on February 22nd, 2007 @ 11:22 am

    H Frown, Chester opened up some very legitimate points of discussion on this topic. Leiza and Dave felt that those points were worth responding to. Hence, we have a discussion.

    A great thing about San Francisco, in comparison to other cities, is that it’s politics are greatly influenced by the people. Speaking up and speaking clearly and knowledgeably to inform an issue from a civilian perspective is what keeps this city working for its citizens.

    Your comment, accusing Chester of ‘mental masturbation’ is not useful to this discussion. It is simply a juvenile insult.


  6. addycat (unregistered) on February 22nd, 2007 @ 4:54 pm

    I agree whole heartedly with Open Discussion.


  7. dantc (unregistered) on February 22nd, 2007 @ 5:49 pm

    the neighborhood thought the site would become housing

    I apologize for the snark, but… how?

    How did they think it would become housing? Did they expect Barbara Eden to arrive in a puff of smoke from a discarded beer bottle on the sidewalk, fold her arms and blink her eyes and then *POOF!* housing?

    Seriously, I want to know, because considering that every proposal was shot down or “negotiated” into something that wouldn’t profit the developer, magic is about the only way something that would suit the Mission Obstructionists could be built there.


  8. Dave (unregistered) on February 22nd, 2007 @ 7:37 pm

    Hi DantC,

    The previous proposal was indeed housing. However, this proposal suffered from at least 2 major hurdles: 1) Community activists argued that the proposal did not include enough affordable housing and 2) some members of the Landmark Preservation Board did not like the concepts of luxury penthouses on the roof or a new building built within the drill court.

    Indeed, they were probably right on both counts. IMHO rich white people driving their BMW’s into the basement and taking an elevator to luxury rooftop penthouses would have been an insult to both the neighborhood and the historical significance of this building.

    Take care

    Dave


  9. IMHO (unregistered) on February 26th, 2007 @ 7:54 pm

    Pity the poor fools at Kink.com who’ve stepped into SF NIMBY politics…

    Mission Merchants Assoc are just capitalists & landlord lovers, true status quo cronies who hang out & bitch about anything that isn’t done involving them…

    IMHO …The Victoria has been mismanaged for years…and for someone who claims to be the PR director for Mission Merchants Assoc, Correa has almost non-existent publicity other than the marquee.

    Dare I say what people like Anita don’t like most of all is that Kink.com is a white male owned enterprise…



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