Michael Moore to Visit Struggling St. Mark's Bookshop
EAST VILLAGE — Fresh from his visit to protesters demonstrating against Wall Street this week, outspoken filmmaker and author Michael Moore will appear at the beleaguered St. Mark’s Bookshop Thursday, to support the longtime store and promote his new memoir.
The shop’s co-owner, Bob Contant, said Moore contacted him on Tuesday and offered to do a book signing to help the nearly 35-year-old bookshop, which is currently fighting to stay open amid rent negotiations with landlord Cooper Union.
Moore, who surprised protesters at Zuccotti Park Monday, will sign copies of his new memoir "Here Comes Trouble" and might speak about the ongoing protest against financial institutions, Contant said.
“We’re big supporters of Michael Moore, there’s no question about it,” he said, noting that the documentary filmmaker approached them because he knew about the bookstore’s tenuous situation. “We hope it’s a big turnout.”
Contant added that he wouldn’t be surprised if Moore arrived with a camera crew in tow, possibly to shoot footage for a future project.
“There's enough material to use,” he said of the parallels between the protest and the problems facing his shop.
St. Mark’s Bookshop has been struggling to stay afloat during hard economic times, and was denied a rent reduction from the Cooper Union when it requested a $5,000 decrease from it’s current monthly rent of $20,000.
The community reacted by starting an online petition to save the shop, which has garnered nearly 38,000 signatures since it went live three weeks ago. Local elected officials including Councilwoman Rosie Mendez, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, and State Senators Tom Duane and Daniel Squadron have also come out in support of the store.
Contant and co-owner Terry McCoy met with representatives from Cooper Union two weeks ago to talk about the situation, but no determination has been made to date.
"At this point we're optimistic because of the groundswell of support from so many people," reads a message on the store’s Facebook page. "Please continue to help by stopping in and buying a book, magazine, or postcard — we're open till midnight."
Moore will appear at the store starting at 7 p.m.