DuPage Winning Its War against Adult Book Stores Bachelor's Library to Close; One Shop Left

By Kennedy, Kristy | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), May 10, 1996 | Go to article overview

DuPage Winning Its War against Adult Book Stores Bachelor's Library to Close; One Shop Left


Kennedy, Kristy, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Kristy Kennedy Daily Herald Staff Writer

Kinky adult bookstores - with video peep shows in private booths - don't mesh well with the image of straight-laced DuPage County.

So as one of two remaining adult bookstores with viewing rooms prepares to close this fall, the conventional can breathe a sigh of relief.

The Bachelor's Library, located on Route 53 north of North Avenue, must shut down once its lease is up in September as part of a deal between the bookstore's landlord and Lombard officials.

"It's a blessing to our community," Lombard Village President William Mueller said. "It's been a long time in coming."

Mueller isn't the only one who feels that way. Communities in DuPage long have fought to keep out such establishments.

Until recently, those efforts were less than successful.

Less than a decade ago, there were at least four adult bookstores in DuPage. This fall there will be only one left - the Zebulon Adult Bookstore near Roselle.

Several years ago, owners of Studio 21 Ltd. in Addison toned down their wares to become more of a sex novelty shop, said DuPage County assistant state's attorney John Kinsella, who has prosecuted obscenity cases.

Then the number shrank to two last spring when the Ogden Adult News and Video Store in Downers Grove closed. That followed many complaints from residents and village officials, said Ken Rathje, director of community development for Downers Grove.

Bad feelings started when that shop turned into an adult store after first opening as a traditional newsstand in the 1980s, he said.

"Now, it's getting a whole new look," said Rathje, noting that the site is home to a motorcycle dealership.

Community leaders like Rathje and Mueller say the ventures leave an unwelcome stigma on their hometowns.

"It has a negative effect on a community," Mueller said.

Ironically, sexual behavior experts say that people from all walks of life frequent establishments like the Bachelor's Library.

"The stereotype of a man with no family or someone you wouldn't trust isn't true," said Michael Bailey, associate professor of psychology at Northwestern University in Evanston.

Plus, erotic entertainment is big business. This year's Adult Entertainment Video Guide reports the adult video rental and sales market did $3.1 billion in business last year, excluding mail orders.

Not all of that business is done at bookstores that earn the "adult entertainment" title. That sales figure includes magazine and video sales or rentals at mainstream stores.

But communities traditionally have focused their opposition on places like the Bachelor's Library, which is open around the clock. …

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