An era has come to an end as the company Kink.com is closing its movie production at Mission District Armory site in San Fransisco.
The staff at Kink.com has been moving gear throughout the month of January, to a new location in Vegas. It’s ten years since the CEO of Kink.com Peter Ackworth purchased the Armory for $14.5 million, but now the BDSM film producer is packing up its production at the site. Filming will end in February, while some administrative functions will remain in the building.
Porn Production business not as profitable
Over the last 3 years, Kink.com experienced a 50% drop in revenues as subscribers fell from 50.000 to 30.000 and Peter Acworth’s analysis is that free porn is to blame. The increased availability of free porn has also meant that Kink.com layed off half its staff a year ago.
– Porn is not nearly as profitable as it was, according to Acworth.
Kink.com had to rethink their business model and is now focusing on providing a platform for BDSM entertainment, as creating content is a costly venture. Kink.com as a distribution platform is a natural move as the subscriber base is continuing to get smaller and free porn takes a chunk of the revenue. But Peter Acworth doesn’t stop there, he already has something else up his sleeve.
He owns one of the company’s biggest assets, the Armory itself.
The Armory is getting a new purpose
When Peter Acworth acquired the Armory 10 years ago, it had been vacant for 30 years and all of a sudden it got a new lease of life and purpose as Kink.com turned the vacant building into a gigantic production space for its BDSM porn productions. The grungy parts of the estate suited very well for the brands developed by Kink.com, “The Training of O” as one example. Other parts were refurbished to fit productions like “The Upper Floor”.
The days of BDSM porn productions are gone and Peter Acworth has won the necessary approvals to turn the Armory into something else. The focus now is to turn it into a mixed-use building, housing everything from offices to entertainment. At the same time as getting approval he also got a $4-million bank loan that is being spent on a sound system, lighting and other pressing needs such as fixing the leaky roof and repairing crumbling turrets. The buildings 40,000-square-foot drill court is slowly being turned into a venue for concerts and other entertainment, with a capacity of 4,000 people.
But the facelift comes at a price and the $4-million bank loan is not enough to complete the change Acworth envisions. The Armory has no elevators, not enough bathrooms, and no heating – All of them amenities necessary for a building labeled as a public space. The estimated cost to bring the building up to code is estimated between $13 – $20 million. The refurbishment is a process closely monitored by preservationists as the Armory is a historic landmark and keeping the preservationists happy while renovating a historical building is not cheap.
Kink.com as we know it has been around for a good decade and everyone among today’s BDSM practitioners has probably seen one of their productions or at least heard of the company. But as the saying goes, all good things have to come to an end. When Peter Acworth is asked what he feels about the whole thing he simply answers:
– It’s a little sad. It’s the end of an era.