LOS ANGELES: Samuel French has announced that the Samuel French Film & Theatre Bookshop on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, Calif., will close on March 31. The Samuel French collection of acting edition playscripts and musical libretti will continue to be available online.
“Although the community loves the store and its exceptional staff, most people are choosing to buy their books from e-retailers these days,” said Samuel French president Nathan Collins in a statement. “It is an unfortunate situation, in which many other bookshops find themselves. However, the good news is that Samuel French continues to serve the world online with an unparalleled range of shows to license and scripts to purchase. This is supported by our expert staff in New York, London, and L.A., and their outstanding service to our customers. Additionally, we are excited to continue exploring new ways to support the playwriting community in the digital age.”
The Sunset Blvd. store’s sales have steadily declined over the last decade, and now more than 80 percent of Samuel French’s retail sales are made online. Samuel French’s first California bookstore opened in Los Angeles in 1929; its current location opened in 1947. A smaller bookshop on Ventura Boulevard in Studio City also operated from 1986 to 2012.
Upon closure of the Sunset Blvd. shop, the company will donate scripts and materials from the bookstore to local libraries and theatre and educational institutions. “It’s one small way for us to give back to the community,” said Collins in a statement. “The bookstore has been a beloved landmark for decades and we are extremely grateful to our dedicated staff and loyal customers who have run and supported it for so many years.”
Throughout its history Samuel French has also had bookstores in New York City, London, Boston (Baker’s Plays), and Toronto. The bookshop in London’s Royal Court Theatre will remain open and will celebrate its first anniversary next month.