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Adult-style business controversy not new to Mason City

Read about the past struggles Mason City has had with adult businesses.| If you think this latest adult-style business controversy is something new in Mason City, think again. In reality, this is just a blip on the radar.

In the early 1970’s, Mason City had a massage parlor, the Park 70 Theatre was showing adult movies and there were five all-nude bars right in the downtown area.

The controversy then wasn’t about letting them in. It was about getting them out.

Mason City was well-known as a “sin city” in those days. You had two factions pitted against each other: Those who liked or didn’t mind that there was adult-style businesses in Mason City, and those who wanted them all out. Time magazine even included Mason City in a piece titled “The Porno Plague.” The inset piece was titled “Mason City: A Porn-Fed Town.” (See graphic, below. The entire piece about Mason City is there.)

According to the Time article, things didn’t get really heated in Mason City until someone tried to open a massage parlor.

In 1994, the Mohawk Press wrote an article titled “Pornography, twenty-five years of change… Mason City’s exposed naked past.” The article says mainly young people did not see the adult businesses as a problem, while a “vocal minority” controlled the majority and ended up running nearly all the adult businesses out of Mason City. The article quoted some prominent Mason City citizens like Bob Schukei, who said “I am not interested in putting a fence around Mason City so that our children cannot understand this type of movie,” in reference to the adult movies at the Park 70 Theatre.

The Mohawk Press article ends with this quote from a Mason City citizen: “I think there are a lot more elderly people in Mason City and their views seem to be more on the conservative side.”
Click here to read the Mohawk Press article in its entirety.

Now, the mere discussion about an adult-style business has people in an uproar and choosing sides. It must be a sign of our “politically correct” times.


Graphic from the May 13, 1994 Mohawk Press

Time Magazine inset piece about Mason City from April 5, 1976 issue

Cover of Time Magazine from April 5, 1976 issue

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