As any '90s kid knows, the closure of Kim's Video and Music—the iconic video and music retail store that first opened in the East Village back in 1986—was incredibly sad. Today, we give you a reason to rejoice, as the shop is making a grand return to New York City at the end of the month, opening inside the newly launched Alamo Drafthouse location on Liberty Street.
The owner of the original store was one Youngman Kim and, yes, he is working alongside the theater to bring his unique collection of over 55,000 films (one of the largest in the world!) back to Manhattan.
Kim operated a dry cleaner business in the '80s and opened his video store within the same space until he moved that to its own location on Avenue A in 1987. He eventually expanded his reach across five other destinations by similar names: Mondo Kim's opened on St. Mark's Place, Kim's Underground was at 144 Bleecker Street, Kim's Mediapolis was by Columbia University on the Upper West Side and Kim's West was on Bleecker and West 10th Streets. By 2014, all locations had shuttered.
A few years prior, in September of 2008, Kim announced that he would be closing Mondo Kim's and give out the collection to anyone who would agree to take it as a whole, intact, and under the stipulation that all members of the store could continue to have access to it. A few months later, the Sicilian town of Salemi purchased the lot as part of a village restoration effort but virtually no one has had access to it since then.
"After a twelve year and 9,000 mile odyssey that included a trip to Italy and back, the Kim's Video collection is now back where it belongs—in New York City," reads an official press release about the re-opening. "It will be permanently housed and available for rental at Alamo Drafthouse Lower Manhattan."
Just as the arrival of low-cut, boot leg jeans on the streets of Manhattan during Fashion Week made apparent, the return of Kim's Video to downtown New York makes one thing clear: the '90s are back.