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Strip-mall storefront that has put its emphasis on retail sales but keeps booths open for those who need some immediate release. This used to be a thriving cruise spot, but new ownership has des o This is a small bookstore -- only a few token movies and toys upfront.

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Fun facts about the Todd Couples Superstore, according to Laurie Brantley, its general manager of seven years:. The most popular wares at the 6,square-foot adult sex shop at N Nebraska Ave. And decades ago, the shop's proprietor, Tony Arnone, owned the screening rights to the once-controversial X-rated flick Deep Throat. Regardless, this year marks the Todd's 50th anniversary, quite a feat for a business of that type, Brantley said. And, due to its large red and white hovering above the busy corner of Nebraska and Fletcher avenues and a large building of the same colors, she said, the Todd has become both an area institution and a landmark.

Adaptation is the secret to the store's longevity, Brantley said. What was once an X-rated movie theater is now "classy.

At 50, sex still sells: the todd couples superstore celebrates its golden anniversary

Originally located at Nebraska and Fowler avenues, it opened as a seat conventional movie theater. According to news s, the first film was shown the day after Christmas It was The Fixer, starring Alan Bates. But Brantley said the location opened in some capacity the April.

We're not sure what since it was a different owner. The then-owner, Eli Jackson, who named it Todd Theater after his son, told reporters back then that he would not screen "skin flicks. Arnone had other theaters throughout the nation, general manager Brantley said, which is why he purchased the rights to Deep Throatthe porn movie starring Linda Lovelace that was banned in some cities. Aroundthe Todd went fully X-rated because it could not compete with the movie theater chains.

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Inafter Tampa Council passed an ordinance banning adult businesses from being within feet of schools, homes and churches, the Todd moved to its current spot just outside the city limits. That location had a seat theater and 11 video viewing booths, began selling and renting VHS tapes and added novelty sex items to shelves. Then, inHillsborough County required a 2,foot buffer between adult businesses and churches, schools and homes.

When the Todd sued the county, the two parties reached a compromise allowing the business to remain if it ceased screening movies. Transitioning into an "adult superstore" worked out for the best financially, Brantley said, even allowing them to open a Port Richey location in Today, what was once a male-dominated customer base is equal parts women, Brantley said.

Of the 12 employees at the Hillsborough store, eight are women. All are trained to comfortably interact with customers about sex. Valentine's Day is the busiest time of the year for the Todd, followed by Halloween, when the store adds sexy costumes to its racks. And throughout the year, it remains a popular place for couples to purchase birthday and anniversary presents.

Considering the Todd is 50 this year, the golden anniversary, what does Brantley recommend for couples celebrating a similar milestone? As is the case with any merchandise that requires batteries, vibrating products receive free ones.

Which le Brantley to share another fun fact: "We go through several thousand batteries a month. Subscribe Manage my subscription Activate my subscription Log in Log out. Regions Tampa St. Letters to the Editor Submit a Letter.

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Todd couples superstore

About us. Obituaries Homes Jobs Classifieds. Careers Advertise Legal Contact. Log in. Manage my subscription Activate my subscription Log out. At 50, sex still sells: The Todd Couples Superstore celebrates its golden anniversary. By Paul Guzzo.

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Published May 1, Up next: Find a Friend: Munchie the domestic short-haired cat. Paul Guzzo Culture Reporter.

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