I do love a good book store…
As someone who is an avid reader and who loves to visit book shops, it saddens me when I hear about any book store closing. In my personal opinion we live in an age where these types of places are needed more than ever.
No matter what country you’re in the problem that faces these types of stores is the same and it’s nothing new, with trying to compete with online retailers and rising overheads stores are shutting at an alarming rate. I know you’re not here to read about business economics but stay with me here.
This is exactly what happened to legendary Horror book store ‘Dark Delicacies’, after 25 years in business they were faced with a huge rise in rent and with their lease soon to run out, owners Del and Sue Howison were being forced to look for somewhere else to try and keep their established business going.
Del stated on the GoFundMe page:
On December 3, 1994 my wife, Sue, and I opened Dark Delicacies, the original all-horror independent book and gift store in the United States. Located in Burbank, California, we soon became recognized as the “home of horror.”
We are known, not just locally, but around the world for our weekly signings and events where fans are able to mingle with their favorite writers, directors, actors, composers, among so many others.
Our customers, as well as the amazing artists who have signed at the store, are family; many of whom have been with us since the beginning of this wonderful dark ride.
One of our greatest joys has been giving back, by sponsoring and hosting numerous charity events for both our two and four-legged friends. We are very proud of the “people of horror,” whose support and generosity have helped so many.
We knew we would never become rich running the store, and that was okay. We just wanted to be able to do something we loved and be a part of the community we cherished.
Unfortunately, like so many other places, the landscape in Burbank is changing. Rents have skyrocketed, and many of the unique stores that put the area on the map have been forced to move or close their doors altogether. This little neck of the woods is so beloved, a Save Magnolia Park campaign and video were created.
With our lease up in May, Sue and I thought it was the end of our brick and mortar store. We resigned ourselves to the fact that we would be forced to close, just shy of our 25th anniversary. We were heartbroken.
Then, a store front around the corner became available. A possible new location, coupled with all the people who wrote and stopped by asking us to stay in business, made Sue and I realize we weren’t ready to go quietly into the night.
Although we may be a little more tired at the end of the day than when we first opened, our passion is still the same. We want to continue offering a place for people to drop by and hang out for a while, meet up with friends and fiends or make news ones.
Our escalating rent over the last few years created an enormous financial strain. Some days we were just happy to be able to keep our lights on. Moves are expensive and this one is no exception. So, we are asking for a little help in making a resurrection possible.
Anything you can give to help keep the crypt open will be greatly appreciated. We know times are tough, so if you can’t, don’t sweat it. Promise to still venture on in. After all you’re “one of us.”
Now this post was originally going to be something of a begging post, pleading with you to visit the GoFundMe page and help them raise their total needed of $25,000. I’ve now effectively had to change this blog post because that total has been reached and then some, at last look it had gone over $30,000, the extra money is to help with renovations.
This is in thanks to the likes of Horror icons Guillermo del Toro and James Wan who put their status and influence to very good and most helpful use by publicly posting on social media asking people to help and word has it they even put in donations themselves to help the store.
The money generated by the GoFundMe page will be used to help pay for moving and rebuilding costs for the Howisons’ new store. Because of the overwhelming support they received, Sue Howison said she has replied back and thanked every person who has donated.
“Whether it’s a $5 donation or $3,000, it means just as much,” she said as she wiped away tears. “I’ve answered every single donor because it means that much.”
I can’t begin to tell you how happy all this makes me, to see the Horror community come together and help save this store, a store I hope to one day peruse. If you do still want to help out you can still donate on their GoFundMe HERE