Noted for serving the progressive and radical freethinkers of San Francisco and beyond, Mission District staple Modern Times announced that, on November 15, they will call it quits for good.
After moving from its previous locale on Valencia Street (now a pricey eyeglass store), it it planted roots on 24th Street. But the Mission being what the Mission is these days—an increasingly homogenous pile of artisan eateries and cafes—it was not able to survive in the city’s hippest enclave. (Also due to the fact that all bookstores struggle in these modern Amazon-ian times.) Per a press release by the bookstore, "its struggle to survive gentrification was in keeping with its 45-year loving and fighting spirit."
Sparked by the Vietnam War, the store opened in 1971 on 17th Street and Sanchez in the Castro. Since then, it served not only the written word, but also drew attention to such causes as radical queer issues and the environmental movement to Occupy and Black Lives Matter.
"The Mission community is very saddened to hear the news that Modern Times is closing its doors," said Erick Arguello, Co-Founder and President of the Calle 24 Latino Cultural District. "Modern Times has been a tremendous asset to the city as a whole, from its early days responding to the Vietnam war through the gay liberation movement and through today's fight with gentrification…Calle 24 has been honored to have had them for the last 5 years in the heart of the Mission District."
But please, do check it out before this institution closes its doors for good. Modern Times’ inventory will be reduced starting October 15. And a closing party/retirement fete for collective member and bookseller Ruth Mahaney is scheduled for October 22.