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Patrons will miss "family" atmosphere
After seventeen years of providing the London community with an array
of adult entertainment services, the famous Fabulous Forum, the "home of
the real ballet," showcased the best of its exotic dance performances for
the last time on Monday.
According to Rob Smink, owner and manager of The Forum, the club was
given its eviction notice almost one month ago.
Smink expressed his deep regret and dismay for having to call it quits
after all these years. "I am very sad to leave this place," he said. "The
Forum has been the destination place for people from all cross-sections
Over the years, we have held an array of shows and performances from
all over the world, which our customers have always enjoyed and looked
Despite the lengthy and elaborate process of obtaining a license for
reopening at another location, Smink said he is seriously thinking of pursuing
that option after closing the current establishment.
Jamey Swift, manager of licenses and elections at City Hall, said London
has an "adult live-entertainment service parlor" bylaw which restricts
the number of operations within the city's limits to six and includes multiple
zoning and location requirements.
If a new adult entertainment business wishes to seek a license to replace
The Forum, the establishment will have to apply to City Council, at which
point Council would hold internal deliberations as well as consultations
with the public, he said.
"They could definitely make an application for what their [potential]
new location would be and see if they could get it approved by council,"
Victoria Winters; Leading, Thinking?
Dave Van Dyck/Gazette
|When asked why he preferred The Forum to other dance clubs
in town, Johncox referred to the friendly atmosphere unique to the Forum.
"With a lot of open spaces, huge TV screens and amiable service, I feel
very much at home. The Forum is like a family to me and I wouldn't trade
it for any other place."
Victoria Winters, an exotic dancer at the Forum, echoed similar sentiments
about the time she spent at the parlour. "I have enjoyed working here for
the past two and a half years under a wonderful management and a very receptive
audience, but perhaps it is time to move on." Winters plans to go to school
after leaving her current job.
One person who would love to see The Forum open its doors again is Van
Johncox, a regular at the Picaddilly Street building. Johncox said The
Forum represents an important part of London's culture that deserves far
more recognition than what it has received from the more conservative elements
of the community. "People sometimes fail to recognize the working opportunities
this place has to offer," he added.