When Raymond Pistol opened Showgirl Video on Las Vegas Boulevard in 1983, the live dancers performing behind the peep show window were taxed the same way as “vending machines” under the city code, he said.
His partner and former peep show dancer Treasure Brown said that in a sense they were “coin operated girls.”
Showgirl Video, which also included an adult bookstore, operated just north of Charleston Boulevard for nearly four decades and eventually became the area’s lone peep show — dancers perform behind a window, which opened when a patron placed $1 into a machine, for tips.
But the business shuttered last month and the building it occupied will soon be torn down. New construction will bring a marijuana dispensary.
The closure marked the end of an era, as Showgirl Video was believed to be the last peep show in Las Vegas. In 1992, the city passed an ordinance barring sexually oriented businesses along Las Vegas Boulevard, but Showgirl Video was grandfathered under old code and continued doing business.
“Sexually oriented businesses have been supplanted by the internet,” said Pistol, who sold the business in 2016. “You can get anything you want at any time. It’s a 24/7 smorgasbord from all around the world.”
Peep shows or peep boxes trace back to ancient times, according to curators at the Erotic Heritage Museum in Las Vegas. The first peep shows would have a “show-man” who would entertain spectators. Performances were viewed through a drilled hole in a box, which enclosed a nude girl, or two girls engaging in erotic sex acts.
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