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Drive-Thru Condom Store Opens Despite Vandalism

July 18, 1992

CRANSTON, R.I. (AP) _ People accustomed to delivering their vacation pictures to a drive-up booth in a shopping center here may be in for a shock - Condom Hut is open for business.

Emmanuella DelVecchio sold her first condoms Friday and said business was brisk, despite recent vandalism and angry telephone calls from people opposed to having such a service in their neighborhood.

″It didn’t stop us,″ said DelVecchio, who also owns a nail salon in the same shopping plaza. ″We’re still open for business.″

The former Fotomat booth is painted hot pink and white and displays a condom ″menu″ that includes mint-flavored and natural lambskin varieties, as well as standard latex.

″Everyone going through has been very professional,″ DelVecchio said. ″They’re being serious - no joking, no comments. They’re driving through picking up what they need, knowing what they want.″

Anthony Paola was her first customer, leaving with a box of glow-in-the- dark condoms.

″I feel more comfortable coming over here than I would going to a drugstore or anything like that,″ he said. ″Because I feel like I’d have to buy something else too, instead of just buying a box of condoms.″

Some complained about the location, which borders a neighborhood of older residents.

″It’s a disgrace,″ Mike Capareo said. ″It’s a nice Italian neighborhood over here. It’s been here for years, good people.″

DelVecchio was planning to open two weeks earlier, but she had to fix a damaged sign and repair a window after someone tossed a firecracker through it.

For the next two weeks, customers will be handed a brochure on safe sex compliments of the Rhode Island Department of Health and the Rhode Island Project AIDS.

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