Last week several reports circulated about the sale of one of the most iconic buildings in porn history: the San Francisco Armory, home and filming location for Kink.com. Apparently, though the sale of the historic building for an astonishing $65 Million reported by the San Francisco Business Times did not take place.
The armory was built in 1914 and served as an arsenal for the U.S. National Guard. From the 70s on the building was vacant. During that time several scenes from »The Empire Strikes Back« have been shot at the Armory. In 2007 fetish specialist Kink.com bought the building for $14.5 million and used the 200,000 square foot location as headquarter and production site for many productions for the studio.
That way the Armory become a very visible part of San Francisco’s famous freewheeling culture. Kink.com, one of the biggest studios for fetish and BDSM movies and known for cultivating a professional on-set culture, featured the Armory’s facade at the beginning of each Kink.com production.
Two things seemed to play a big role in ending the studio’s decade-long usage of the building. California initiated a ballot to mandate condom usage in porn productions. And the rise of the tube sites like PornHub and xHamster lead to a serious decline in revenue for Kink.com. While the ballot failed, the studio still went ahead with moving the production to low-cost Nevada. After that, the building became a stage for short running events. Late last year the Armory has begun the transition into a multipurpose venue. Investments were made and a sound system was installed.
Therefore news of the sale of the Armory to Soho House for $65 million came as a surprise. Soho House was described as operator of a chain of nightclubs owning 18 locations around the world. The sale would have meant a steep profit of more than $50 million for Kink.com but a week after the news made headlines in trade publications and newspapers alike the Twitter account of the Armory sent out a denial.
By now Soho House, too, denied the attempt to buy the Armory. These reports were »not true. We love San Francisco, however, we don’t have a space confirmed as of now.«