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

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 1:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 12:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 12:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 4:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J10 11:58PM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M30 10:20PM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 12:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 1:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 2:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 3:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 2:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 1:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 1:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 4:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 1:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A26 10:37PM


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

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

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Behind the scenes at fbi National Academy J20 2:47PM

Treasury Takes Aim at Shell Companies J20 11:18AM

Paraphysique de l'intelligence J20 9:08AM

Oklahoma GOP Senator Jim Inhofe's Bloody Record J20 4:01AM

Globalization: hope on the horizon despite Fake Liberals. J20 3:41AM

Sorry President Trump,Ted Cruz Texas Judicial System,is Worse Than Many Shithole Countries J19 4:49PM

The Shortwave Report 07/20/18 Listen Globally! J19 4:33PM

The System Question as a Survival Question J18 8:54PM

Nation's Largest Voting Machine Co., ESS, Admits Lying Re Having Installed Remote Control J18 11:55AM

Du pain et des jeux J18 9:53AM

Paraphysique de martyrologie J17 8:00AM

Children Incorporated Earns 4-Star Rating on Charity Navigator J16 11:24AM

Democratic Socialists of America J14 4:57PM

Leonard Peltier Non Violent Native American Political Prisoner since 1970's J14 4:18PM

Paraphysique miscellanées de l'aggiornamento J14 12:54AM

FBI Investigated LA County Sheriff Baca,Why Not Hank Skinner's Persecution? J13 3:52PM

Updated Partial List Of Famous Vegetarians, Vegans, & Fruitarians J13 2:59PM

The Shortwave Report 07136/18 Listen Globally! J12 4:36PM

Social Policy as Social Infrastructure J12 3:38AM

Vol I: 84 Varieties Of GOP Election Fraud J12 1:50AM

Texas Can Call it An Execution,But It is A State Sponsored Murder of Hank Skinner.. J11 6:48PM

June 2018 Honduras coup update J11 3:35PM

Maria Estrada doubles down on racist support J11 1:40PM

New York Women in Film & Television Announces 2018 NYWIFT Ha Phuong Scholarship Recipients J11 10:14AM

Trapps de la domination, trapps de l'aliénation J11 1:31AM

Please Work For The Defeat Of Brett Kavanaugh And Why J09 8:54PM

Transinhumanisme ( transe inhumanisme ) J09 12:44PM

Google, World's Biggest Censor, Was Founded By The CIA J09 10:25AM

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