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City puts strip club on notice about video advertisement

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) – Complaints have been lodged about a sign outside Club 44 near Glenbrook Mall.

Some who drive by claim the images advertising the venue are obscene.

The city is taking action to try and bring about changes in what’s shown on the sign.

When local businessman Todd Larson July 19th drove home from a TinCaps game with four children in the car, including a seven-year old, he looked over at an LED sign at Club 44 and couldn’t believe his eyes.

“It showed a lap dance that left very little to the imagination. Fort Wayne should not have videos of lap dances playing that kids can see, we’re better than this, that’s disgusting, it’s pornography, it shouldn’t be exposed to young children,” Larson said.

We recorded the video stream, but had to edit it out of focus, because of concerns it might be offensive to viewers.

It shows a scantily-clad dancer from various angles.

“They’re being asked to ensure that they are complying with the city zoning ordinance,” said city spokesperson John Perlich.

Mayor Tom Henry’s administration has produced a letter that is going out in the mail to the owner of the Club 44 strip club.

Rather than challenge the content of the video, it details several complaints related to the electronic sign not being in compliance with zoning.

It specifically takes issue with images in the video moving, flashing or blinking at a rate exceeding once per 6 seconds.

The violations in question revolve around a term called “changeable copy”, which have to do with distracting video, or visual noise.

The business will be given 5 days to comply with the concerns following receipt of the letter, with the city pledging to do a site inspection after that time.

“That’s what we’re going to be investigating, and we’re hopeful that there will be a resolution to this in the next week or so,” Perlich said.

We left a phone message with Club 44, seeking comment, but at the time of this report had not gotten a response.

The U.S. Supreme Court has held that advertisements on business signs have a significant degree of protection as free speech under the First Amendment.



Jeff Neumeyer

Jeff Neumeyer is a reporter for WPTA.

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