Warner Bros. Studio Store

The Warner Bros. Studio Store was a chain of retail stores selling Looney Tunes, DC Comics, and other merchandise based on Warner Bros. films, similar in style to The Disney Store. They first opened in 1991. In 1996, Warner Bros. owner Time Warner merged with Turner Broadcasting, which owned Hanna-Barbera and the pre-1986 MGM library, and merchandise based on Turner properties were added to the product lines. In 2001, all Warner Bros. Studio Stores went out of business, although some independently owned locations in Australia continued to operate until 2008. In 2006, Warner Bros. Consumer Products partnered with PMW Retail and reopened the stores in China. Hutchison Harbour Ring's subsidiary the PMW Retail Group Ltd., owned an operated the Chinese store locations from 2006 to 2014.

Warner Bros. Studio Store
TypeSubsidiary
FoundedSeptember 20, 1991; 30 years ago (1991-09-20)[1]
Los Angeles, California
Defunct2001
FateBankruptcy
HeadquartersWarner Bros. Studios, Burbank, ,
Area served
North America, Europe, Japan, Indonesia
Productsapparel, toys and merch
ParentWarner Bros. Consumer Products
(WarnerMedia)
WebsiteOfficial website

HistoryEdit

The first Warner Bros. Studio Store was opened on Friday, September 20, 1991 at the Beverly Center in Los Angeles, California by Time Warner.[1][2] The chain had 130 locations at its peak.[3] In October 1993, a location opened at the corner of 57th St. and 5th Ave. in New York City, the first ever Studio Store in the city.[4] Some of the store's attractions included a glass elevator carried by Superman and the 4D experience Marvin the Martian in the Third Dimension, the first ever 3D computer animated movie produced in the world.[5] In 1996, the chain signed a long-term lease for a three story building at 1 Times Square and six of its billboards and opened a store on all three floors in 1997.[6]

ClosureEdit

In January 2001, the AOL-Time Warner merger was completed, at which time the chain was placed up for sale with plans to close if not sold.[3]In February 2001, the flagship location on New York's Fifth Avenue was closed, and on September 11th, 2001, the store at the World Trade Center was destroyed when the Twin Towers collapsed.[7][3] High profile stores in Los Angeles and Palo Alto were also closed. In July, AOL Time Warner announced that the chain, then consisting of 85 stores, would be shut down by October as the company moved out of the owned and operated retail business.[8] Its three-story, 40,000-square-foot Times Square location started liquidation in July[3] and closed in October. Warner Bros. then placed the building up for rent without the billboards.[6] The last stores closed by December 31, 2001.[9]

International locationsEdit

From 1997 to 2008 several stores operated in Australia with the flagship location being in Crown Casino Melbourne. These stores, however, were owned by now defunct Paradise Retail Holdings and were run completely independently from stores of the same name internationally.[citation needed]

In January 2004, Warner Bros. announced they were opening the first Chinese Studio Store location, after agreeing on a licensing deal with Hutchison Harbour Ring.[10] On March 25, 2006, a grand opening celebration was held for the grand opening of the first Studio Store location in China.[11] In October 2006, the second Chinese Warner Bros. Studio Store location opened in Macau.[12]

In 2016, Warner Bros., with the Thinkwell Group opened a new entertainment center in Macau, which featured a new Warner Bros. Studio Store location.[13]

LocationsEdit

Warner Bros. Studio Store is currently used as the name of various theme park stores around the world, including at the Warner Bros. World theme park[14] and at the Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank. [15]

External linksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b McNARY, DAVE (September 20, 1991). "Warner Bros. opens studio stores". United Press International. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  2. ^ Robaton, Anna (March 5, 1994). "Corporations Showcase Stores On Rise". Billboard. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d "Warner Bros. Studio Stores to Close". Los Angeles Times. Reuters. July 7, 2001. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  4. ^ What's Up on 5th Avenue? A Studio Store, The New York Times, David W. Dunlap Feb. 10, 1993
  5. ^ Our History A Timeline Of Warner Bros. Movie World (Official site) Archived 21 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ a b Bagli, Charles V. (July 12, 2001). "Bugs Bunny Is Losing His Times Square Home in October". The New York Times. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  7. ^ James, Meg; Goldman, Abigail (February 5, 2001). "THAT'S ALL, FOLKS: Warner Bros. to Shut its 130 Stores". Chicago Tribune. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  8. ^ Klein, Alec (7 July 2001). "Warner Bros. Studio Stores to Be Closed". The Washington Post. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
  9. ^ Staff, Chronicle; Services, News (July 7, 2001). "AOL to close all Warner Bros. stores". SFGate. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  10. ^ Whiteman, Bobby (January 13, 2004). "Warner Bros. sets up shop in China". Variety. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  11. ^ "Warner Bross. Consumer Products And Pmw Retail Group Celebrate Grand Opening Of First Warner Bros. Studio Store In Shanghai, China". March 25, 2006. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  12. ^ Schiller, Gail (October 23, 2006). "Warner Bros. opens store in Macau". The Hollywood Reporter.
  13. ^ "Making Macau Family Friendly". InPark Magazine. March 28, 2016.
  14. ^ "Shop Warner Bros. Studio Store".
  15. ^ "– THE EXPERIENCE – Warner Bros. Studio Store".