Larry Edmunds Bookshop: The Store for Film Lovers in Tinseltown
December 29, 2016
Where can a true film buff come for movie photographs, posters, and of course, books? That would be the 70-year-old Larry Edmunds Bookshop, long known for its stellar collection of over 20,000 books and 500,000 or more movie photographs.
Owner Jeff Mantor says that while the business started in 1938, he began working with the store in 1991 and has owned the shop since 2007. “I just wanted to keep the shop going. I would never want to do this business any place else. I think what we do belongs on Hollywood Boulevard.”
But business for the independent, long-established bookstore is changing. “We used to be reliant on tourist season, the three months from June to Labor Day,” he notes. “Today, between Amazon and eBay, combined with the airline weight restrictions, that period of time is not what it used to be.”
But Mantor has adapted well to the changes in business climate. “We have always appealed to a speciality audience, so now I do more in-store events, and events at movie theaters with signings, and representation from celebrities and authors. My busy season is now usually the fall rather than summer, and our emphasis is on setting up a variety of events and activities.”
Recently, Mantor put together an event at Hollywood Boulevard’s Egyptian Theatre featuring Cary Elwes and a screening of The Princess Bride. Following the film, Elwes participated in a Q & A and a book signing of the new paperback edition of his bestselling, “As You Wish – Inconceivable Tales From the Making of the Princess Bride.”
And on January 5th the store is hosting “An Evening with Carleton Carpenter,” signing his auto-biography “The Absolute Joy of Work.” Carpenter is a renowned film, television and stage actor, magician, songwriter, and novelist, whose presentation will chronicle show business history from the Broadway stage to the MGM backlot. “I’m also planning an event with television writer David Bianculli from The Smothers Brothers in the store itself early next year,” Mantor notes.
Along with offering in-store and store-linked events, Mantor describes his shop as “very much a good resource for people who need anything on the subject matter of the entertainment industry. And of course it’s a great resource for posters and photographs, too.” Asked about his most unique books, Mantor says “I think everything we carry is unique. I carry vintage books about Hollywood history, production and behind-the-scenes books, and brand new books about the industry. Whatever you are looking for, if it has to do with entertainment, we have it.”
Mantor sometimes fields unusual requests that go far beyond the books and memorabilia he carries. “We often get requests from people who think we can put them in touch with a celebrity they love or give them help producing a film. We get requests from prisoners with stories to tell and the time to figure out how to write them. They’re seeking source material to learn how to write screenplays.”
The store offers approximately four dozen different categories, all pertaining to the entertainment industry, according to Mantor. “The only fiction we carry are screenplays. We carry biographies, books on directing, writing, and different kind of genre films from horror to SciFi. We also have books on television, acting, foreign films, film criticism, and so much more.”
Browsers and buyers can see for themselves: Larry Edmunds is located at 6644 Hollywood Blvd., and is a veritable Aladdin’s treasure cave of Hollywood-related books, posters, pictures, lobby cards, scripts, and more.
Larry Edmunds Bookshop
6644 Hollywood Blvd.
Genie Davis is a multi-published novelist and journalist, and produced screen and television writer. Passionate about everything-Los Angeles, you can see her work in the arts on her own www.diversionsLA.com.