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Delta throwback: Strip shows cause a stir

Council appeared baffled and confused what to do about the entertainment
The Optimist ran this front page photo in December 1974 of Mayor Tom Goode visiting a North Delta bar that featured a striptease act. Goode looked somewhat embarrassed observing “Suzette” at the Scottdale Inn. Delta Optimist file

Delta council in December 1974 didn’t like the idea of strip shows in the city, but appeared baffled and confused as to what to do about it.

The tavern at the Scottsdale Inn at 70th Avenue and Scott Road, later known as the North Delta Inn, began showing striptease acts, prompting council to send what had been reported as a “weak plea” to the province’s Liquor Administration Branch to reconsider the idea of allowing striptease shows to expand throughout the Lower Mainland.

Alderman Lorne Hope was the only member of council who had a clear-cut view on the issue, saying stripping should be left to die a natural death and council should not interfere.

Most other alderman reportedly appeared reluctant to take a firm stand one way or the other, asking instead for a compromise.

The only point most aldermen agreed upon was that they were against the idea of stripping in suburban neighbourhoods.

Controversy flared up the previous week when Mayor Tom Goode was authorized to “investigate” a live striptease show at the Scottsdale and report back to council. He was accompanied by Hope and several members of the press.

Goode said it was too bad Surrey Mayor Bill Vander Zalm did not take up their invitation to also attend.

Following the show, the mayor suggested women be allowed to only get semi-nude and not completely naked.

In his report, he said he received many comments from the public with about 40 per cent in favour of stripping, but 60 percent not in favour of the entertainment in a suburban setting.

The Scottsdale management told him that had been forced to hold live entertainment because they were losing business to the Newton Inn in Surrey, where strip shows were being held.

The mayor was also told other Delta hotels, such as the Ladner and Pillars Inn, would eventually be forced to go the same way.

Alderman Lorne Carmichael said he did not think council could legislate on morals, but it was their responsibility “to show some leadership in providing a proper environment for families.”

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