SILVER LAKE — After more than 30 years of serving as one of the neighborhood’s chief purveyors of gay porn, as well as running its largest newsstand, Circus of Books will permanently close its Sunset Junction store after today. “Thank you to the many, many loyal and good customers who patronized our store for 31 years,” said the store’s Facebook page.
The owners of Circus of Books announced the closure earlier this year but noted that the original West Hollywood location will remain open.
What will move into the Silver Lake shop at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Sanborn Avenue? The Eastsider has contacted Karen Mason, who opened Circus of Books with her husband, Barry, for information. Earlier this year, a listing on LoopNet.com said the 7,125-square-foot space, which includes a basement, was for lease at an undisclosed price.
The closure of Circus of Books comes as Sunset Junction has seen the arrival of numerous high-end shops, restaurants and bars in recent years. More change is on the way, with a developer planning to build a five-story hotel as well as large apartment buildings in the immediate area.
In a 2011 first-person story, Rachel Mason, daughter of bookstore owners Karen and Barry Mason, tells how her parents bought the original store in West Hollywood, which at the time was named Book Circus, about 40 years ago. They expanded into Silver Lake in the 1980s.
Rachel Mason writes:
“After my parents realized they could manage a store, they replicated the business in Silverlake. The second store has big mural on the side of it. When they first started the business back in the 80’s, gangs constantly sprayed over each others’ tags on the store’s exterior walls. One day my dad approached one of the taggers and asked what he could do to make them stop. They said if he let an artist make a mural and sign his name to it, no one would ever graffiti up the building anymore. So my dad paid him to spray a mural which stayed on the building for nearly 20 years.
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