A chapter closed: Modern Times will shutter next month
October 11, 2016
Never quite able to regain its footing since it was forced from Valencia Street in 2011, Modern Times Bookstore Collective is set to close next month after 45 years in business.
According to an announcement on the store’s Facebook page, the progressive book store will shut its doors at 2919 24th St. on Nov. 15. having explored “every possible avenue of support to sustain the store since its displacement from Valencia Street in 2011.
“Though we have persevered out of love and duty and a willingness to continue to fulfill our mission, we are the first to admit the store is not operating at the level we would like and we can no longer serve our customer’s needs as well as those of our workers,” the statement said.
The news doesn’t come as a complete surprise. The store has had to launch multiple funding campaigns to sustain itself after its former landlord opted not to review its lease at 888 Valencia St. Last year, Capp Street Crap reported that Modern Times was for sale because owner Ruth Mahaney was retiring. Mahaney’s retirement party on Oct. 22 will also serve as the store’s closing party, according to Modern Times’ statement.
Here is what the store posted in its entirety:
We wanted to be the first to let you know…
Dear comrades, loyal customers, friends, and neighbors.
This was the letter we had hoped to never send but the day has finally come: Modern Times Bookstore Collective will be closing its doors after 45 years of serving the beloved community. As those closest to us know, we have tried every possible avenue of support to sustain the store since its displacement from Valencia Street in 2011. Though we have persevered out of love and duty and a willingness to continue to fulfill our mission, we are the first to admit the store is not operating at the level we would like and we can no longer serve our customer’s needs as well as those of our workers.
Our doors will close on November 15. Books will begin to be marked down starting October 15 and all merchandise will continue to be reduced until it’s gone. We would love nothing more than for you to stop by, bid us a fond farewell, and to take home a book or some remembrance of Modern Times with you.
Some of you will no doubt be concerned about our community-serving programs from Spanish Book Club and Queer Open Mic to our books to prisons mailings: Have no doubt, we are working on forging solutions and finding appropriate venues and stewards to carry on our work.
All October and first part of November in-store events will remain on the schedule. Ruth Mahaney’s retirement party will serve as our closing party and will remain on the calendar for October 22.
As for the future, who knows? We’ve been asked if we will carry on, and only time will tell: We are not ruling out possibilities or eleventh hour reprieves. As ever, we will keep you informed and in our hearts.
With love and thanks,
Modern Times Bookstore Collective.
[H/t El Tecolote, photo via Google Maps]