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Kim's Video & Music closes last shop
The last remaining location of an iconic East Village entertainment chain closes its doors Monday.
Kim's Video & Music became a cultural institution when it opened its first store on Avenue A in 1987.
With a collection of more than 55,000 films, its flagship store, Mondo Kim's, served as a creative oasis for artists in the Village for more than two decades until it shuttered in 2009.
The Kim's stores were known for their stock of rare and foreign films, as well as music.
For many customers, the closure of the last Kim's outpost on First Avenue is another signal of the decline of brick-and-mortar stores from a bygone era.
"This really is the last picture show. It's pretty sad. That's why I'm here. It's kind of a ritual," said customer John Regis, 56.
"There was a time when Kim's was your access to getting foreign films and things that were a little more obscure. Now you can do it all online."
While streaming video services offer convenience and personalized recommendations, Kim's employees and customers said they'll miss the serendipity of stumbling across an unexpected gem in a store.
As Kim's departs, other customers feel they now will have to rely on larger national chain stores in other parts of the city for their media needs.
"We don't have anything close by that sells Eastern European movies," said Magdalena Chylicka, 60. "I'm not happy about it because now I have to go to Barnes & Noble and request these types of movies."