Legendary East Village emporium Kim’s Video & Music on First Avenue will be closing its doors this summer, the store announced Monday on the Kim’s Facebook page. “As great as #RSD2014 was (thank you all!), sadly we will be closing our store on 1st Ave. No closing date yet but 30% off ALL VIDEO and MUSIC. (all formats and NRs as well).”
Saturday was Record Store Day, a day that has become one of the most profitable for independent outlets like Kim’s, but also seems to have become a kind of harbinger for sad news: J&R Music closed its doors on April 11 of this year. Last year, Bleecker Bob’s Records closed just a week shy of Record Store Day.
Reached on Monday, a clerk said business was brisk on Record Store Day this year. “It seemed really great. Whenever we opened there was a line around the block and then [it was] pretty party all day,” Hayley Gaines said.
The Kim’s on First Avenue is the last Kim’s location. Mondo Kim’s on St. Mark’s Place closed in 2009. At one time that location was home to what was widely considered the best a video-rental collection in the city, with more than 55,000 titles.
When Mondo Kim’s closed, the owner solicited offers to house the collection from schools museums, and private collectors. From the more than two dozens proposals it received, Kim’s chose a bid from the remote town of Salemi, Italy, and shipped the collection there.
In 2012, Voice film critic Karina Longworth made it all the way to to Sicily to see the collection’s new home before things went awry. You really should just read the story: “The Strange Fate of Kim’s Video.”
Gaines confirmed that Kim’s on First Avenue would remain open for a few more months, before shuttering sometime in the summer.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 21, 2014