imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Midnight Special leaves Promenade

by Jorge Casuso (from The Lookout News) Tuesday, Jul. 09, 2002 at 11:53 AM

After ten years on the Third Street Promenade, Midnight Special Bookstore is being forced to re-locate.

The LookOut news- Santa Monica's Only Source of Daily News

Midnight Special to Leave Promenade

By Jorge Casuso

July 7 -- Known for its steady sale of "The Communist Manifesto," the Midnight Special Bookstore announced Friday that its landlord can no longer protect it from the market forces that have turned the Third Street Promenade into a bastion of capitalism.

After 10 years at its current location and nearly two decades on Third Street, the independent bookstore -- which has been a beacon of radical thought in the increasingly corporate world of retail book selling -- will

move out at the beginning of next year.

"For the past 13 years, Wally Marks and his family have always been there for the Midnight Special," owner Margie Ghiz wrote in an email sent to the store's customers and supporters. "In addition to their constant encouragement and support, they have subsidized the bookstore during a period when the value of rental property has increased dramatically.

"After all these years however, circumstances no longer permit the owners of the property to sustain this substantial subsidy," Ghiz wrote. "So, it is now time for the Midnight Special to move on to a new stage, a new place."

Civic leaders, who have bemoaned the loss of independent stores from the Promenade, were taken aback by the news that the bookstore, with its

provocative window displays and its meeting room where alternative views were championed, is moving out.

"We've been so fortunate for so long to have this important literary center in the heart of Santa Monica, and the fact that it's time for them to move is just devastating news," said Kathleen Rawson, executive director of the

Bayside District Corporation, which runs the Downtown.

"The good news is that they're not closing," Rawson said. "Her (Ghiz's) display windows are fantastic. You need people to stir the pot, and we're sure going to miss her."

"I wish that more Downtown property owners," said Mayor Michael Feinstein, "had exercised some restraint on behalf of the district as did Wally Marks for so many years in not chasing the highest rents regardless of the uses.

"If more property owners had done that," Feinstein said, "we would not see the unhealthy level of commercial rents that we do today that is helping lead to this destructive gentrification."

Former Mayor Paul Rosenstein said: "The tragic loss of the Midnight Special from the Promenade follows the loss of other independent bookstores and restaurants. The gentrification and corporatization of what used to be a

diverse community is hard to watch."

The Midnight Special was able to survive on the thriving Promenade -- where rents have reached as high as a square foot -- thanks to the longstanding support of Wally Marks Sr.

Marks, Ghiz wrote, walked into the store in the old Santa Monica Mall in the late 1980s "with his dream for something bigger and more ambitious, a louder voice for people and ideas that go too often unnoticed and unheard.

"Wally believed in us more than we believed in ourselves," Ghiz wrote. "He pushed and encouraged us. He gave of himself, and his family contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to build a new store as beautiful as the ideals we strive for."

For the next decade, as Promenade rents skyrocketed to the top of the Southern California market, Marks kept the rents low, helping Midnight Special survive competition from Barnes & Noble to the north and Borders to the south.

In her struggle to survive, Ghiz became a passionate advocate of independent booksellers, especially those who offered an alternative to mainstream views.

"We're fighting over freedom of thought and diversity in our culture," Ghiz told ForeWord Online in an interview five years ago. "We're trying to see if local bookstores survive or if the decisions about what we read will be made by corporations.

"Our survival is linked to the survival of other independent art forms and expressions," Ghiz said. "I don't think we'll ever go down, but we're heading into a very dark period."

While chain bookstores carry a large and wide-ranging inventory, Midnight Special focuses on political and social titles, ringing up more than 1,200 copies of Karl Marx's "Communist Manifesto" during the past decade and more

than 1,000 copies of Noam Chomsky's book "9/11" in half a year.

Using as its slogan Bertolt Brecht's quote, "Hungry man, reach for the book, it is a weapon," Midnight Special has turned the purchase of a book into a political act, with steady customers making a statement by gladly paying

higher prices than those charged at competing retail chains.

"Superstores, such as Borders (a subsidiary of K-Mart), are able to stock books in high volume and offer discounts," says the Midnight Special Web site. "But their emphasis on profit maximization prevents them from

supporting books or areas of interest that may not sell well, but expose readers to new ideas. Corporatism prevents them from expressing any kind of passion, or taking risks, or engaging in dialogue with their neighborhoods."

The Midnight Special Bookstore was started 32 years ago in Venice by civil rights activists as a "labor of love," Ghiz said. By the end of its first year, two of its founders had been arrested and jailed for refusing to give the FBI the names of their friends and customers who were attending

anti-Vietnam War meetings.

"A proud beginning!" Ghiz wrote in her email. "Over the next 15 years, according to our accountant (himself a volunteer), the community donated over 1,000,000 hours of labor to sustain the bookstore and insure the survival of

seldom heard voices. The Midnight Special is the diverse voices and views of Los Angeles."

Copyright =C2=A91999, 2000, 2001 All Rights Reserved.


Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 7 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
Reader Alex Safonov Wednesday, Jul. 10, 2002 at 10:39 AM
A true loss Sk! Wednesday, Jul. 10, 2002 at 4:05 PM
Does that mean Olin will be unemployed? his biggest fan Thursday, Jul. 11, 2002 at 6:30 AM
They have it Donas John Thursday, Jul. 11, 2002 at 11:19 AM
Jum from Midnightbook store Anti jim Saturday, Jul. 13, 2002 at 8:00 AM
Mr. Pete Sunday, Jul. 14, 2002 at 5:17 PM
You Suck Michael Hunt Thursday, Jul. 18, 2002 at 1:28 PM

Local News


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

EPA Head Scott Pruitt: Of Cages And Sirens A06 2:15PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy