Porn production moves to Vegas after condom law
Las Vegas - Lee Roy Myers has everything you'd expect to find in the nation's porn capital in Southern California: sets of a classroom, hospital room, locker room and a bedroom, as well as a list of porn stars waiting to perform.
But his plywood universe is not in the San Fernando Valley. It's a few paces away from the glittery casinos of the Las Vegas Strip.
"Las Vegas is a fresh town, and it's where people need the business," said Myers, whose new studio is part of a boom in X-rated production in Sin City sparked by a Los Angeles law requiring male actors to wear condoms.
The rule and potential opportunities in Nevada were the talk of the Adult Entertainment Expo this week. The annual sex industry trade show culminates today with an awards ceremony for adult films.
"It's not really an option to change the way we make our movies, and moving production isn't that hard," said porn purveyor Jules Jordan, who hid out behind nearly naked models at his booth.
Jordan warned reporters not to ask him about condoms.
The voter-approved Los Angeles regulation survived a constitutional challenge, but other lawsuits are ongoing, and the industry is still waiting for the first big prophylactic bust.
The number of permits requested to make porn films in Los Angeles County has declined by an estimated 95 percent since the law took effect, according to Film LA, a private nonprofit that issues the licenses. The number of applications fell from about 480 in 2012 to just 24 through the first nine months of 2013.
For Myers, who co-owns Mission Control studios and also directs web films, the condom police are just the start of his troubles with Los Angeles. The region had also gotten too expensive for him.
With DVD sales continuing to plummet, the bounce provided by the mommy-porn series "Fifty Shades of Grey" wearing off, and no solid business model in sight, producers in this notoriously low-budget industry are looking for new ways to cut costs.
While Los Angeles charges hundreds of dollars for location permits and requires health checks as well, Clark County, where Las Vegas is located, gives out location permits for a nominal fee and does not require health permits.
The warehouses are cheaper, and it's also more affordable to rent out mansions and put actors up in hotels.
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