Remembering Amsterdam Video, the Upper West Side’s “Last Hardcore Pornography Shop”

Currently occupied by Blo Dry Bar, the storefront at 287 Amsterdam Avenue, between 73rd and 74th Streets, was not too long ago home to an adult video, lingerie and toy store.

Amsterdam Video shut down in 2011, the no-longer-running DNAinfo announced at the time.

“Amsterdam Video’s hot pink neon sign and scantily clad mannequins didn’t quite fit in with the rest of the block,” the author noted, as did several area residents interviewed for the piece.

Amsterdam Video

Photo via DNAinfo

There was one interviewee disappointed to see them go. The Upper West Sider saw the store’s closure as “another sign that the Upper West Side [was] losing its neighborhood character.”

Neighboring business owners said Amsterdam Video’s presence never caused problems. The manager of Salumeria Rosi, located on the same block at 283 Amsterdam Avenue, told DNAinfo she was indifferent to the porn shop’s existence, and that some staff members even made some purchases as Christmas gag gifts.

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DNAinfo noted that upon Amsterdam Video’s closure, there was no public outcry as there had been for other recently shuttered businesses (like H & H Bagels). Then again, the closing of a porn store isn’t the kind of thing you want to publicly rally against.

Locals mentioned never seeing much foot traffic in the small porn spot. Combining this with steadily increasing commercial rents (the listing broker mentioned seeking over $8,000 per month) makes the store’s 2011 demise unsurprising.

Amsterdam Video had a 20 year run, and upon closing, was “believed to be the last hardcore pornography shop on the Upper West Side.”

Which naturally leads us to wonder where the other ones were. And when they existed. Feel free to help us out in the comments section. You can use a fake name.

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