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Alan's Alley Video Store Closing After 25 Years

By Mathew Katz | June 23, 2014 2:32pm
 DJ the cat lounges among shelves of DVDs at Alan's Alley Video, which will close in July 2014.
DJ the cat lounges among shelves of DVDs at Alan's Alley Video, which will close in July 2014.
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DNAinfo/Mathew Katz

CHELSEA — After 25 years on Ninth Avenue, one of Chelsea's last remaining independent video stores will close next month.

Alan's Alley Video will shut down for good on July 7, after the landlord found a tenant that could pay higher rent, according to owner Alan Sklar. The 65-year-old said he was told to move his treasure trove of movies out of the building by July 15.

"There will be a new client in August," Sklar said. "Someone corporate, probably."

The 1,711-square-foot spot at 207 Ninth Ave. is being marketed by Winick Retail Specialists, which declined to comment and said the landlord also did not want to comment. The realtor could not say if the space had been leased. 

The store's closure was first reported by Jeremiah's Vanishing New York

Alan's Alley Video opened in November 1988 and became a neighborhood institution for locals looking to rent their favorite flicks. Sklar said he was looking for space in Chelsea to relocate but could not find much. 

"People are not offering leases or are offering leases that aren't compatible with the business model we have here," Sklar said. "They want international clients."

In the meantime, he is selling off some of his stock and putting the rest into storage. 

The spot still does a good corporate business, Sklar said, supplying movie clips to television shows like "The Colbert Report" and "The Today Show" from its extensive library. 

While he admits that part of the business could move anywhere in the city, Sklar said he probably would not open up another location outside of the neighborhood because it would be too difficult to rebuild the customer base.

"A video store somewhere else may seem irrelevant to someone who's never seen [this] one," he said.