Another One Bites the Dust: Virgin Megastore in Union Square Will Shutter

News   Another One Bites the Dust: Virgin Megastore in Union Square Will Shutter Show-tune buyers in New York City will soon have fewer brick-and-mortar places to buy music. Manhattan will be without a large-inventory music store by this summer, with the planned May or June closing of the Union Square Virgin Megastore.

Virgin Entertainment Group North America already announced the April shuttering of the Times Square Virgin Megastore, a convenient place for tourists and Broadway fans to snag the latest cast albums or solo recordings. Billboard first reported the planned closings.

In recent years, with the rise of digital music services, "record stores" (as they used to be called) have gone dark throughout the U.S. CDs can be bought at such places as amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com or music can be bought digitally on services such as iTunes.

The Times Square Virgin closure is seen as a loss for the theatre industry in another way: Many Broadway and Off-Broadway cast album launch events and CD signing parties were held there.

Billboard reported that the Times Square location of the multi-media retail store is the highest volume music store in the U.S. (it does about $55 million in sales, annually).

Beyond theatrical Times Square-area specialty stores and theatre lobbies, where prices for recordings tend to be marked way up, the Broadway theatre district will no longer have a haven for show-crazy fans to listen to and/or buy cast albums of their favorite musicals. Barnes & Noble book store locations remain as havens for show music fans in Manhattan, and often boast special appearances by theatre industry folk.