Monday, April 21, 2014

[Updated] A really bad sign outside Kim's Video & Music on First Avenue



Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. EVG regular William Klayer spotted a store closing banner outside Kim's on 124 First Ave. this morning.

There isn't any mention of a closure yet on their website, Facebook or Twitter accounts. We'll see if we can get more info about what is happening here.

It's the latest/last blow for the mini chain of stores specializing in experimental, foreign and independent movies and music.

The Kim's Video that you loved to hate/or hated to love on Avenue A closed in 2004. The Kim's on Bleecker Street became a Duane Reade in 2006. Mondo Kim's closed on St. Mark's Place in December 2008.

This remaining location, with its esoteric DVD collection, opened in 2009.

In September 2012, there were published reports that proprietor Yongman Kim was going to open an "interactive pizzeria" in the new Arabella building on Avenue D. We haven't heard a thing about this since then.

Updated 1:51 p.m.

Kim's posted a message on the store's Facebook page, noting that despite a successful Record Store Day this past Saturday, "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)."

32 comments:

  1. Not. So. REALLY?!?! What don't we have any more in the East Village? Fro-yo? Or how about Gucci on First?

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  2. every transaction must be surveilled by the state - no more buying a video with cash - there must be a transaction chain back to you for everty single thing you do. the pod people text madly in approval.

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  3. This is sad but inevitable. The digital age makes it easier to steal online than shoplifting at places like Kim's. too many people illegally download their music and movies on the internet for free. One estimate says about 17% of web traffic in the US is to file sharing networks like BitTorrent and Rapidshare. Kim Dotcom's Megaupload, which was shut down, had half a billion dollars worth of copyrighted material available to anyone with a broadband connection, which means those people with laptops who hog the tables at every Starbucks.

    Only when so many people stop stealing content, and landlords stop profiteering, will places like Kim's be able to exist, but those days are over. Meanwhile all the book, music and video stores are disappearing, and literacy is going along with them as everyone texts instead of writing in coherent sentences, paragraphs, and occasionally even whole pages of fluid text.

    Vinyl is the only area that seems to be re-surging in sales.The only reason Vinyl is seeing a comeback is because its harder to pirate, and some people want to feel and listen an old record instead of digital. Those scratches make it sound more real.

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  4. This is terrible news...... The City NEEDS to have a Kim's of some kind. Very very sad right now. You wanted a movie you couldnt find anywhere else? Where could you go? = Kim's.

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  5. Did the Kim's uptown in Morningside Heights close already?

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  6. Don't forget the Kim's that was uptown by Columbia. That one and the one on Bleecker (I think it was called Kim's Underground) were my favorite locations.

    It's a shame about the store on Avenue A. When it opened, it gave me hope for the local chain, which I agree had the best movies. I bought so many from Kim's!

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  7. One of the reasons all these businesses we love are folding is because there is noone left here to shop in them. The new kids who move into the neighborhood when long-time residents are displaced by the new corporate landlords don't shop for anything but booze and eachother. They wouldn't think twice to actually buy a CD, shirt, shoes etc in the hood. Add to the mix that they all work 9-5 on Wall Street and you have a complete lack of daytime foot traffic to support normal retail or other daytime businesses. Add to this already depressing mix the number of restaurants and bars opening everywhere paying ridiculous rents, opening and closing when their bad business models fail, with a sale of their liquor license serving as their exit strategy. Shop at Other Music as they are still hanging on and help keep them alive.

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  8. I remember when Kim's first opened in part of his dry cleaning business on Avenue A. When they expanded, the snarky clerks would change their attitude when they heard my membership number of 364. They suddenly had respect for someone who had been a member from the get go.

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  9. This is such sad news! The East Village needs Kim's! Someone please step in and save it!

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  10. While piriting has been a huge culprit, Anon 2:50 has a valid point as well; take a look at a cross section of pedestrians on a typical day in the TSP vicinity.

    On a completely unrelated note, anyone want to partner up on the 80 proof artisanal biscuit shop I'm opening on A? (Buns N Roses)

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  11. I disagree with pinning the current loss of music stores on piracy.

    Those that listen to music online can do so legally on sites like spotify, for example, that stream music and offer a huge catalog of full albums.

    I know the argument against these services (they pay very little out to the artist), but it's not piracy. It's also incredibly convenient to be able to use a service that allows you to listen at home, at work or on the way to either.

    I still love music; the way I consume it has changed.

    I miss the old days of music stores for sure (I worked in them for 8+ years in both NYC and outside of the city), but it's high rents that play a much more significant part in this sad story.

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  12. What about NYCHA on A? Are there any spots left. You know St. Marks place is moving into a NYCHA storefront.

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  13. Right next door, Lunasa, another fratdouchebar, just signed a 10-year lease extension. It's a telling what the EV comprises of today, douchebars for the douches.

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  14. Lunasa is not a fratdouche bar - maybe after 10pm on a weekend, but then that's just about true of bars in general. I have found it to be a very chill bar with some really pleasant bartenders with a varied clientele. I'll take Lunasa over another chain any day of the week.

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  15. Anybody who'd call Lunasa a frat-douche bar must never have set foot in it. Are you just posting to display your ignorance?

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  16. their problem is/was their incredibly unhelpful staff.

    I purchase music - and every-time we asked for help, we were met with gruff nods and the too-cool-for-school attitude.

    on another note - i just went over to Williamsberg and visited Stu from Stooz - the old shop on 7th street - now that was a great local shop!

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  17. What the fuck is "an interactive pizzeria"? Where the customer tosses the dough and slings the sauce?

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  18. Lunasa is one of the headquarters for your beloved Santacon and other douche pub crawls. It's an NYU frat haven on Friday and Saturday nights. But yes, more bars in the neighborhood and less record stores. Douche places for the douches.

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  19. I still have my video rental card from when it was above the Gap... It was a matter of time after Mondo Kim's closed. Thank you Mr. Kim for having you business in our neighborhood for so many years.

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  20. Kim's Video has or will soon had varied clients.
    Lunasa's varied clients = over-the-hill douches; tourist douches; bridge & tunnel douches; frat douches; sorority douchettes; tech bro douches.
    Seems like the only businesses that can afford to stay in the EV are banks, chains, and those that serve alcohol to the douches.
    So let us not mourn the death of another music store and EV character and celebrate the everlasting bars.

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  21. So sad. An end of an era. It will probably be an overpriced restaurant charging $15 for salad and $30 for a pizza.

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  22. just another brick in the wall…

    When the history books are written about this time in New York…oh wait a minute, there will be nothing written..nothing significant is happening, unless you consider the dismantling of the culture of New York a historical event.

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  23. Well, you gotta admit: until it's possible to download beer and print pizzas—which will be sooner than you think—we still need brick-and-mortar dives.

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  24. HippieChick said...

    What the fuck is "an interactive pizzeria"? Where the customer tosses the dough and slings the sauce?
    _____________________

    Might have something to do with 3D-printed pizza just on the horizon; with a world population of 12 billion, we're going to have to drastically cut waste and increase storage time; 3D-printed food would also be ideal for space travel, an option we have to increasingly consider as the population grows.

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  25. I'm not sorry that Kim's is closing because it never supported local/area independent music and was never really a place for indy music in general or current/active band music save whatever the majors and big indie distributors were supplying them. They were more on the movies tip than records tip.

    Other Music can eat a dick for not carrying hardcore punk or metal.

    D

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  26. Anon 3:07: you said "Other Music... not carrying hardcore punk or metal"

    They actually have a large nostalgia section, its labelled "Then".

    I like that old time music too, it reminds me of my childhood, when I heard that first Black Flag 12" - it still speaks to me, but I recognize it is oldies. hardcore has been made very safe. probably due to its fans. I used to get my records direct from the band. I wouldn't blame a record store.

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  27. "Lunasa is one of the headquarters for your beloved Santacon" How did you ever find out that Santacon is beloved by me? Please elaborate.

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  28. Very sad. I had hoped this was a late April Fool's joke. I often buy vinyl here.

    Piracy is certainly a contributing factor, as is the "legitimate" move to "virtual" music listening (from iTunes store to Spotify, etc.)


    - East Villager

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  29. Maybe Mr. Kurowycky will move back in? Christmas and Easter have not been the same since he closed up shop!

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  30. East Villager is right. In the last decade the music industry sales have fallen by half, which shows how much post-Napster piracy is affecting the industry, especially local retailers. Now DVD sales are gong down.

    Netflix will eventually switch over completely to streaming and abandon mailing DVDs, which will put DVDs into the same dustbin as 8 track tapes. Amazon is basically giving away streaming movies as part of Amazon Prime, so fewer people want to pay for a disc.

    The streaming and downloading of digital music and movies, whether legal and illegal, are killing traditional retailers like Kim's. When you can get so many titles for $7.99/mo or for free, its hard to convince people to buy a single $9.95-$24.95 DVD.

    Too bad, I really liked Kim's, the way they merchandised titles always let me find something new. And no one ever bothered me there. I'm more bothered now that they are fading away.

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  31. 13th Step, Hair of the Dog, Professor Thom's are also chill and low-key in mid-afternoon and early evenings when they're empty. Difference is, they don't pretend to be not a douche bar.

    Kim's customers do not WOOOOOO when they come out of the store. Banks close early. Enjoy your drinks and the bars and thanks for stopping by.

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  32. Said pub is home the NYC Hammers. Can't be anymore douchier than that.

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