City XXX-pulsion Plan Put on Hold By MICHAEL O. ALLEN and JAMES RUTENBERG, Daily News Staff Writers

October 25, 1996

Times Square sex shop owners yesterday said the red-light district would stay lit as a state appeals court temporarily blocked the city’s plan to start restricting X-rated businesses this weekend.
Smut shops advertising “Live Girls” and hawking such videos as “Slut Hunt III” continued to do a brisk business as managers and employees said they have no plans to move or change their inventory.

“We’re not going to go anywhere,” vowed a manager at the company that owns Show World and other porn establishments near Times Square. “We’re confident we’re going to get the relief we’re entitled to under the United States Constitution.”

The defiant boast came after the Appellate Division of state Supreme Court yesterday issued a stay blocking the city’s plans to start closing about 150 X-rated video shops, topless bars and other porn businesses under a zoning law that restricts the location of sex shops.

Yesterday’s court action temporarily overruled a Manhattan Supreme Court decision on Wednesday that upheld the zoning law — enacted by the city in a bid to disperse heavy concentrations of sex shops.

The appeals court set a Nov. 15 hearing on the legal stay, followed by December arguments on the zoning law itself.

Lawyers for the sex shops and the New York Civil Liberties Union declared victory after the appeals court issued the stay. “There will be no closing of any of the adult establishments,” said Herald Price Fahringer, who represents a coalition of more than 100 X-rated businesses that claim the zoning law violates First Amendment rights of free speech.

But Mayor Giuliani and City Council leaders yesterday predicted the city eventually would win court backing to launch the shutdown plan.

“We are quite confident that we’ll prevail,” Giuliani said. “Not only did we prevail in the State Supreme Court already, but essentially throughout the country these kinds of provisions have been upheld by courts.”