Times Square To Lose Its Virginity This April

Maura / January 13, 2009

Well, the day that we’ve all been expecting has been penciled into the calendar: The Times Square Virgin Megastore, the multi-floored music retail outpost/tourist attraction which this writer has spent a lot of time/money in and which has in recent weeks hosted appearances by the likes of Fall Out Boy and Constantine Maroulis, is closing its doors come April.

The closure has been in the works for a while, what with the cheap rents the store was paying (only $54 per square foot; market rent in Times Square is about $700/sq.ft), the slow, painful death of the recorded music industry, and the near-complete jettisoning of music-related programming by the store’s across-the-street neighbor MTV. (One wonders just how much business the store lost when the TRL crowds went away back in November.) But I’m still sad! What’s going to give Times Square its red glow at night? (Well, the discount clothier Century 21, which is taking over the space,does have a red logo. Actually, never mind; it’s going to be a Forever 21.) Where am I going to kill time before shows at the Nokia Theatre? (Please don’t say the Hard Rock Cafe.)

So far, the Union Square outpost is still going to stay open, thus ensuring that Manhattanites will have somewhere to pay $18.98 for a new release when the decks-clearing clearance sales are all said and done. But given that the chain’s owners are saying that “no decision” has been made as far as its long-term future, as well as that of the other remaining four stores in the chain, one has to wonder just how long it is before Other Music becomes the retail powerhouse of New York City by default.

Times Square Virgin Megastore To Close [Billboard]