After 24 years, Baltimore’s Lambda Rising bookstore is closing
By Rona Marech | Sun reporter
February 29, 2008
When John Waters’ 1988 film Hairspray first came out on video, a staff member at Lambda Rising bookstore bought a passel of aerosol hairspray cans at the drugstore across the street and asked the filmmaker to sign them. As a promotion, the shop gave an autographed can to every customer who purchased a video.
Such antics helped spur loyalty among customers at the store, which sells gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender books as well as digital video discs, music, magazines, greeting cards and gifts. But a core group of devotees was not enough to save the store in the face of declining sales: The owner announced last week that after more than two decades in business, he will close the Baltimore shop, believed to be the only gay and lesbian bookstore in Maryland.
“You don’t like to have to close something that’s such a central part of your life and the community’s life. But you have to be realistic,” said Deacon Maccubbin, who once owned five gay bookstores but soon will be down to two, in Washington and in Rehoboth Beach, Del. “This is the history of independent bookselling in the last 10 years.”
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