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Sci-Fi Fry’s Electronics teleports into oblivion

Sad news today: Fry’s electronics has announced that the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, coupled with changes in the retail industry, have forced the company to shutter its doors forever. The loss of a major retail outlet is sad news for everyone who shopped there, but it is a particular loss for fans of horror movies, fantasy films, and sci-fi cinema, because Fry’s Burbank location featured an alien-invasion theme that included flying saucers, little green men, rocket ships, giant insects, and Godzilla himself. There was also a small eatery called the Atomic Cafe, which was fashioned to simulate a mini-drive-in theatre, with (non-working) cars for seating and a screen showing ’50s sci-fi films.

The news of Fry’s closing is not surprising; rumors have been prevalent for months. Our last (pre-Covid) trip to the Burbank location revealed a store that was a hollow shell of its former self: shelves once loaded with merchandise were half-empty, presumably because customers were downloading software, music, and movies instead of buying them in person. Only the hardware and repair sections seemed in good health, but apparently those were not enough to sustain the business through the pandemic.

Sci-Fi Fry’s (as we liked to call it) was the subject of one of Hollywood Gothique’s early posts. Unfortunately, as you can see from the photo atop this post, our photographic technology was not up to current standards. It was our intention to return to shoot new images and video; unfortunately, Covid-19 intervened. So our 2005 visit, including photo gallery, will stand as our tribute to this lost iconic location.

Steve Biodrowski, Administrator

A graduate of USC film school, Steve Biodrowski has worked as a film critic, journalist, and editor at Movieline, Premiere, Le Cinephage, The Dark Side., Cinefantastique magazine, Fandom.com, and Cinescape Online. He is currently Managing Editor of Cinefantastique Online and owner-operator of Hollywood Gothique.