Paperback Outlet

in Businesses and Stores

Paperback Outlet, an adult bookstore, opened at 2112 Prospect Avenue in 1967. Paperback Outlet operated 24 hours a day and sold a variety of adult products. Paperback Outlet featured video viewing booths and, later, live adult entertainment. Though Paperback Outlet was not an exclusively a gay bookstore, it sold a variety of adult books, videos, and items of interest to gay patrons. Paperback Outlet was a frequent target of “anti-obscenity” raids by the Cleveland Police Department’s Smut Squad and Obscenity Enforcement Unit throughout the 1960s and 1970s. The building and land at 2112 Prospect Avenue were later purchased for development by Cleveland State University in 1983. Paperback Outlet closed two years later in 1985. The former Paperback Outlet building was ultimately razed during construction.

Additional information coming soon.


  • “10 Indicted In Sale of Obscene Books.” Plain Dealer. July 1, 1970.
  • Carlson, William, and Denise Stinson. “16 Seized in Pornography Raids.” Plain Dealer. September 9, 1977.
  • Farkas, Karen. “CSU To Probe Bar Failure of Students.” Plain Dealer. November 24, 1983.
  • Listed in High Gear.
  • “Police Raiders Hit Book Store.” Plain Dealer. November 13, 1968.
  • “Running Scared: Smut Dealers Face Fight to Survive.” Plain Dealer. June 25, 1973.
  • Whelan, Edward P. “Raids Set Stage For War On Smut.” Plain Dealer. March 27, 1968.
  • Widman, Richard C. “Pornography is Moving Into the Parlor.” Plain Dealer. December 20, 1978.
2112 Prospect Ave E, Cleveland, OH 44115

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