Oct 4, 2014

I miss book, music and movie stores

This is a picture of the now defunct Hastings store in Greeley Colorado.  Things being how they are today with technology and whatnot, forced this store to close a couple of years ago.  Hastings was one of my favorite stores to frequent. They sold new and used books, music, and movies, as well as a hodgepodge of other items appealing to musicians, skaters, geeks, gamers, and pop culture fanatics.  I can honestly say that there was something for everyone in this store.

My world was truly shaken when I learned the news that Hastings Greeley was closing.  From the sound of it, employees were just as shocked by the news as I was.  They were told of the bad news just two days prior to when the general public was notified. Apparently their lease was up, and the landlord found another tenant that wanted to take over the retail space.  Rather than move to a new location, folks at corporate decided to cut their losses and close the store.

Conventional wisdom dictates that this is another classic case of how technology is changing the landscape of the retail market, in regards to virtually every type of media.  Like everyone else, Hastings has seen their video rental business steadily decrease thanks to Red Box, Netflix, and on demand programming.  Retail publication and music sales also continue to falter because of digital downloads. I guess stores like Hastings, Borders, and Barnes and Noble are becoming dinosaurs in this day and age.  It's a simple fact that can't be denied, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

I'm old school.  I love to spend hours browsing through music, book, magazine, and movie sections in stores.  However, being able to do so is becoming harder and harder to do.  An e-reader just doesn't do it for me, nor does an electronic copy of an album, or streaming movies from my phone or high tech device.  Mind you.. I'm not opposed to technology, I just don't believe that we need to replace all media with convenient streamlined digital alternatives.

I could go on and on forever about digital vs. traditional media, but I think I'll cool it for now.  Instead.. let's take a look at a few things that made stores like Hastings so great..

What's better than browsing through a book store, knowing that there are all kinds of hidden treasures you never knew existed just waiting to be found?

I loved taking my kids to book stores like this and letting them pick out books that we could read together.  Sadly.. the feel of many book stores these days are less than inviting.

These boxes contain something called "Board Games".  It's a strange concept, but these are non electronic games of strategy and chance, played by following a set of pre determined rules.  It's what folks used to do for fun before Angry Birds and X-Box.

A cornucopia of music that you can pick up, see, and feel.  There's something to be said for an LP or  CD with it's dust jacket that can include lyrics, stories and insight from the artist's themselves, and of course.. the cover art!

I'm thinking Red Box doesn't have quite as extensive of a movie selection as this store had.

A lot of new artist's are getting their new albums pressed to vinyl these days in addition to digital and compact disc.  When Hastings closed, the places to find new vinyl in these parts are far and few between.

I am a child of the 70's and 80's, and therefore appreciate a good comic book.  Hastings had a large section of floor space dedicated to new and old comics, as well as other comic related merchandise like action figures, collectibles, and apparel.  At the time of Hastings closing, the town of Greeley Colorado was left without a single comic book store, which had me going through some serious withdrawls. 

I can't tell you how many oddball and wacky pop culture items I bought from Hastings over the years.  Great items like these pictured below were always readily available for purchase.. 

Cover up that nasty new car scent with bacon air freshener!

Zombie Brain and Heart gelatin molds will ensure that your next dinner party will be a hit!

A Lucha Libre wrestling mask should be a staple in every man's wardrobe

Nunzilla.. a fire breathing, spark spitting wind up toy.

One of the coolest action figures I've ever seen.


Twilight Zone "Mystic Seer"
This is just like the little fortune telling machine that William Shatner got addicted to using in the 1960 Twilight Zone episode "Nick of Time".  I almost bought this cool little unit, but couldn't pull the trigger because he still kinda freaks me out after all of these years.

Wicked cool tees and geek wear were always abundant

Just a small assortment of Hastings head wear, for the discerning geek 

Yes.. Hastings was way more than just a video and music store.  It felt as if they went out of their way to appeal to the masses, and it truly was an end of an era when they closed.  They are still sorely missed by many Greeley residents, and surely will be for a long time to come.


  1. "What's better than browsing through a book store, knowing that there are all kinds of hidden treasures you never knew existed just waiting to be found?"

    Nothing is better, absolutely nothing. And you're not a dinosaur. You're intelligent. It's about enjoying the sensory experience of a physical space with others who have similar interests. In other words, it's about being part of a real community. I've started recently to make fewer purchases online and more in my local bookstores (B&N and a local independent store), and I plan to do more of that in the upcoming year. Time to put my money where my mouth is.

  2. I miss these stores too. Today I was about to go to a bookstore that I used to love, only to find out that it closed a few weeks ago. Then I thought, "Well, I'll go the mall bookstore, that's better than nothing" only to realize that there isn't a book store at our mall anymore.There aren't any movie stores anymore either. Everything "entertainment" is online, sterile and trackable. Now you aren't just buying music, you are giving corporations data.

    I have made many good friends and good finds over the years hanging out at book and music stores and I miss those days terribly. I'm only in my early 30's, but it seems that all the joy and fun has been sucked out of shopping and collecting by companies eager to throw the baby out with the bathwater in favor of Big Data by going online only.

    It used to be a social endeavor - I show you my new record, you show me your new comic. Now we are only allowed to socialize through social media thereby taking what used to be a fun, complex, interesting human interaction and reducing it to yet another empty *like* click made from behind a screen.

    It's frankly isolating. I miss the communities that surrounded book and music stores. Digital is just cold. Yeah, I can have whatever song I want, whenever I want, so what? Like you said, CD and Records had lyrics, pictures, cover art - and those aspects were part of what was fun about collecting music and meeting new people was part of what was fun about going to the record store. I hope someday we will have a resurgence of some sort - those community ties are worth so much more than empty clicks.

    Thanks for posting.


What say you?