Baltimore’s Forgotten Adult Video Convention

HERE Today, Gone Tomorrow
Home Entertainment Retail Expo @ Baltimore Convention Center
September 21-22, 2004

Atomic TV covered the East Coast Video Show the only time it was held in Baltimore in September 2004. Formerly held in Atlantic City, NJ, ECVS was the Video Software Dealer Association’s major year-end marketplace for the East Coast’s home entertainment industry, affording regional video retailers the opportunity to learn about end-of-year DVD and video releases and new trends in television, games, music, and “special interest” DVDs. The latter category included the billion-dollar adult video industry, affording attendees the chance to meet and party with porn stars in a vice-friendly East Coast “Sin City”; hence Atomic TV’s lowest common denominator interest.

All Bod Cons: The Year the East Coast Video Show Came to Baltimore

But in 2004, ECVS was rebranded the “Home Entertainment Retail Expo” (HERE) and relocated to Charm City, where adult film stars partied at Larry Flynt’s “new-kid-on-The Block” Hustler Club instead of Trump Plaza. It was strictly a one-and-done experiment, though, as neither the presence of celebs like Barry Levinson – in town to receive the VSDA’s Career Achievement Award in his native city – and Cal Ripken, Jr., nor the taste of Phillips crabs and Berger cookies was enough of a lure to keep the porn stars coming back for more.

Jesse Jane gave fans two big reasons to attend the show

The event was clearly in its death throes by 2004, as the only “name” adult film star on hand was Jesse Jane, who was accompanied by a cast of lower-tier adult film stars and newcomers. How low did it go? Well, the Bum Fights guys were there for their last hurrah (well, at least the one guy who wasn’t in jail!), and they seemed to think Mob City was an undiscovered treasure trove of star-potential bums. But the convention itself, which included mainstream video vendors as well as their more photogenic adult film counterparts, disappeared completely for a number of years after this. We think it resurfaced recently (and controversially) as the EXXXOTICA Expo (the 2009 show again featured a now veteran Jesse Jane), in Edison, NJ – where the 2010 Expo be held the weekend of November 5-7. But don’t hold your breast, er, breath. The 2008 Expo was originally scheduled to take place in Secaucus, but was moved after strong opposition from city officials who used the event site’s liquor license prohibition against nudity as their way to block the show. And the heat is still on in Edison, where the show has been held at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center since 2008 despite objections from the mayor and community groups.

eXXXotica expo exasperates Edison’s elders!

Sad to say, the East is the least when it comes to adult industry galas; like the porn industry itself, the best is in the West, be it L.A. (home of Erotica LA and the Adult Expo) or Las Vegas (home of the porn-studded Consumer Electronics Show, VSDA Home Entertainment Expo, and AVN Adult Entertainment Expo).

And while we’re on the subject of the days of hardcore yore, following are some clips of the talent on display at that 2004 convention, from a long abandoned episode that vanished all too quickly. Kinda like the ECVS: HERE today, GONE tomorrow!

2004 Home Entertainment Retail Expo Intro

This Year’s Models

We liked the newcomers we met in the above clip, like Red Light District’s Keri Sable (age 18 at the time) and Randi Wright (age 19). You can see randy Randi in this bizarre promo clip (for erotic furniture?) we found on the Internets.

Randi’s company at the time, Red Light District, was famous (or notorious, depending on your point of view) for putting out the Paris Hilton Tape (aka 1 Night in Paris). Not only that, but Randi Wright also appeared on the Paris Hilton tape!

As she explained, the lo-fi Paris Hilton tape was far from “erotic.” “You couldn’t really masturbate to it. I know because I tried,” she said. (You can, however, masturbate to Randi Wright; trust us on this one.) So they added adult scenes from Red Light District’s roster to pad out the tape and give it more “bangs-for-the-buck.” Here’s our full interview with Randi:

Randi also was excited that the Bum Fights guys were attending the Home Entertainment Retail Expo. “They are so entertaining!” she effused with guilty pleasure (is there any other kind?), excited that they were on the other side of the room. In fact we had just finished talking to the Bum Fights crew, who were clearly impressed with the untapped talent pool in our “street cred”-worthy fair city. Here’s our footage from that encounter:

Atomic TV gets Into Bum Fights

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