Photo by Robert Elyov via Flickr Creative Commons
Will these innocuous tubes of latex drive the porn business out of L.A.? Does it matter?
The passage of Measure B last week means that the condom will now become, by a law, a fixture in adult movies. Predictably, this has set off a frenzy of speculation about the porn industry picking up and leaving its longtime L.A. boogie-nights home and heading for the prophylactic-free jungle rooms of Las Vegas - or even, the L.A. Times suggests, Budapest, Hungary, the San Fernando Valley of Mitteleuropa.
Adult entertainment boomed after the advent of home video in the 1980s. A decade ago, local economists estimated that the porn industry in the San Fernando Valley generated 10,000 to 20,000 jobs a year and had $4 billion in annual sales.
But declining DVD sales and the availability of free content on the Internet have hammered the local industry. The number of porn producers in L.A. has fallen to about 300, down from approximately 500 at its peak seven years ago, Helmy said.
Although porn production accounts for fewer than 5% of all film permits in Los Angeles County, the industry is an important player in the region's entertainment economy.
Industry estimates figure that about 5,000 adult films are shot each year in the county's warehouses and private homes.