You can learn a lot about Mason City’s adult business past and present chatting with the right people.| Peggy Price is the manager over at Movie Time Video on South Federal Avenue in Mason City.
NorthIowaToday.com stopped in to chat with Peggy about the latest adult business controversy in Mason City.
Peggy is 56 years old and has seen it all in Mason City.
Peggy started out in 1974 as a cocktail waitress at the Stage Coach and the Wells Fargo Lounge in Mason City. The Stage Coach and the Wells Fargo Lounge were both under the same roof and located where JC Penny now sits.
Peggy says there was just live music on the Stage Coach side, while the Wells Fargo Lounge offered music and a dancer. The shows started at 4pm and featured one dancer a week. “The dancer would perform for 20 minutes every hour,” she said. “And you couldn’t touch the dancers, at all. Once the show was over for the hour, everyone would head back to the live music at the Stage Coach.”
We asked Peggy what she thought about the possibility of Mason City loosening zoning laws so that adult businesses would have more options to operate here. “There’s a high demand for it. I get asked almost everyday where the dance clubs are, where’s the strip joint. I tell ’em they gotta go out of town for that.”
Running an adult business of any kind would seem to attract troublemakers and generally have more than its share of issues. Not so at Movie Time Video, according to Peggy. “No troublemakers at all for the most part. We keep it nice, neat and clean in here. If there ever was trouble, I got a security system with an alarm straight to police headquarters.”
Peggy started working for Movie Time Video in 1995. The shop used to rent regular movies as well as adult movies. She told NorthIowaToday.com that once the shop went “all adult” (movies and toys, no regular movies) it was forced to move away from the schools and churches that were close to its previous location on Highway 122 East. It had been at that location for 28 years.
Once Movie Time Video found a new location, which is now at 412 South Federal Avenue in downtown Mason City, City officials scrutinized them somewhat and imposed some strict regulations on the shop. For example, a $10,000 ramp on the back of the building was required to be built before they could open. Also, all the windows had to be situated so that no one could look in them. Little signage is allowed on the building that actually says that Movie Time Video is an adult business. “We’re doing just fine now, though” she says. “No trouble from the City or police or anything like that.”
Peggy had some advice for any new adult dancing or strip clubs that might want to locate to Mason City. “I suggest a good security system, good bouncers, close relationship with the police department. These are going to be some of your best customers. Keep it well run.”
Movie Time Video signage on the building
Main entrance to Movie Time Video
The ramp that Movie Time Video was required to build prior to opening up at their current location