Monday, November 03, 2008

downtown unwound

New York Post



October 20, 2008 --

The owner of the East Village's famed Kim's Video store is putting his vast collection up for sale.

Facing declining revenues, Yongman Kim is making all his 55,000 films available but has imposed strict conditions.

The buyer must purchase the collection in its entirety, house it in 3,000 square feet of space and allow access to those who used to rent films at the store - "charging a minimum membership fee."

So far, Kim has just gotten one nibble.

The collection is on sale because the Mondo Kim's complex, which symbolizes everything hip and funky about the Big Apple, has fallen prey to mondo Internet.

With revenues plunging, the mainstay at 6 St. Marks Place will close its doors in January, much to the dismay of the actors, directors and film students who love it.

The music shop on the first floor and the DVD store on the second floor will move to a smaller location at 124 First Ave.

But the jewel of the store - the 55,000 titles in the third-floor movie rental shop - won't be joining them.

"It's sad for everyone, but it just isn't profitable anymore," said manager Ricky Sutton.

Kim has also put the grimy, five-story building housing the store up for sale, but so far there are also no takers.

Kim, who has produced movies in his native South Korea, spent over 20 years amassing the 55,000 films.

John Tintori, chairman of NYU's graduate film program, uses the collection for lectures and research.

"I'm absolutely heartbroken," he said. "There's just nothing like it, and it's such a valuable resource for the community. I hope someone takes it over."

Kim received one inquiry from NYU, which was interested in buying sections for its private student library. He declined.

"He doesn't want to split it up or make it private because it's so important to the community. The price is probably the more negotiable part," Sutton said.

Kim began amassing the collection in 1987 in his Avenue A dry-cleaning shop and eventually opened four stores.

When the St. Marks Place store opened, Martin Scorsese browsed the racks. Mary-Kate Olsen was a customer until she refused to return several out-of-print Jane Campion films.

"We tried calling over and over, trying to appeal to her social conscience, but it didn't work. In the end, I charged $650 on her credit card," Sutton said.
And the first comment on the NY Post article:

sureshot wrote:
I am glad they are going out of business. Glad to see their snobby homosexual cashiers are getting fired.
10/20/2008 5:34 PM EDT

Oh, sureshot, you sad little homophobe!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's kind of not too interesting to shop there anymore. I went last year when in NYC to see an Albanian concert and was really disappointed that a lot of their grey area titles were cleaned up. Two years previous, there was a great selection of titles. However, it's good to go down the street and check out BAMN! anyhow..