News and Tribune

December 16, 2013

Adult DVD store to close in New Albany

Cleopatra’s ends tumultuous relationship with city

By DANIEL SUDDEATH
daniel.suddeath@newsandtribune.com

NEW ALBANY — Cleopatra’s adult DVD and bookstore in New Albany will close this month, marking an end to a tumultuous relationship between the city and the business.

A sign in front of the business at 601 W. Main St. alerted customers on Monday that Cleopatra’s would be closing.

A man working inside the store confirmed that the business would shut down on Dec. 30 and not reopen.

In 2004, the New Albany City Council issued a six-month moratorium on new adult businesses in the city to attempt to block Cleopatra’s — which was initially named New Albany DVD —  from opening.

The business sued and was awarded a temporary injunction by a federal court that allowed New Albany DVD to open.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reviewed the case, and in 2009 ruled that New Albany “inadequately justified” its reasoning for banning adult entertainment stores.

The city had claimed such establishments contribute to adverse secondary effects such as crime and litter.

New Albany requested the U.S. Supreme Court review the lower federal court’s decision, but in 2010 the city’s petition was denied.

The exact number hadn’t been confirmed on Monday, but the city spent thousands of dollars in legal fees attempting to stop the adult DVD and bookstore from opening.

The case lasted through multiple administrations and city councils, but ultimately Cleopatra’s closed on its own terms.

Multiple sources told the News and Tribune that a private businessman is in the process of buying the property, and that it will not be used for an adult type of establishment.

The News and Tribune attempted to reach the businessman who sources said would purchase the property, but a message left for him on Friday hadn’t been returned as of press time.

Councilman Dan Coffey, who represents the 1st District where Cleopatra’s is located, said he’s confident the property will be under new ownership but declined to state the buyer’s name.

“I’m pleased that a local businessman could be purchasing the property in that area, and I think it will be better suited than what’s there,” Coffey said.