With thousands of posters and movie memorabilia overflowing from his collection, Buddy Barnett knew he had more than enough merchandise to open a store.
What he didn’t know is that nearly 20 years later, his business would begin dwindling, causing him to close his store.
“Unfortunately, it’s the way the world is,” Barnett said.
Cinema Collectors Movie Memorabilia & Gift Shop, 11 S. Water St. is scheduled to close Feb. 24.
Barnett is planning to transition to selling online using Amazon and eBay.
The idea to collect started with Barnett’s movie fixation as a child.
“I loved watching and going to movies, especially B-horror movies,” he said.
His first collectible was a “Godzilla” movie poster. From there, it spiraled.
Barnett didn’t go on just to collect items. He also worked as an actor, writer and producer for several films such as “The Vampire Hunters Club” and “The Low Budget Time Machine.”
He also was the publisher and editor for more than 40 issues of “Cult Movies Magazine” and co-host of the series “Cult Movies TV.”
His experiences helped to enrich his collection.
“Over the years, I had enough stuff (that) I figured I could start selling it,” he said.
He and his business partner Chris Ortiz decided to go into business.
Their idea was to sell vintage and classic memorabilia from posters from all the James Bond movies to novelty and collectible items such as purses, board games, toys, photos, lobby cards, press material and books.
Memorabilia ranges mostly from the 1930s to the present.
Barnett has added newer merchandise such as a poster for the 2013 Blockbuster movie “World War Z.”
“We would get a lot of collectors (who bought) or people decorating their home movie theaters,” Ortiz said.
The first store opened in 1997 on Sahara Avenue near Paradise Road. But the business was ready for a change.
“We stayed there for eight years before moving,” Barnett said.
They looked for a space that was closer to Henderson.
At first, the Water Street location, where it’s been for eight years, had more traffic.
The last few years, they said there haven’t been as many customers visiting the area.
“We thought the area would be more touristy,” Ortiz said. “It just never took off.”
The business would pick up a few new customers here and there.
“But it was like moving one step forward and two steps back,” she said.
The Internet also contributed to the decline of business.
“People used to sell us their collections to help us replenish our supplies,” Ortiz said. “Now that people have Amazon or eBay, they are selling their collections on their own.”
Barnett said the last few months, they made a few last-ditch efforts to turn things around.
“But people aren’t spending money the way they used to,” he said.
Customers were shocked to hear the store was closing.
“They said this was their favorite store,” Ortiz said. “Then where have you been the last few years?”
Both partners said they are both going to miss the customer interactions.
“Dealing with a customer is easier than eBay,” Ortiz said.
Barnett said he could foresee opening another store one day.
“Maybe in an antique mall,” he said. “Maybe we just need it in a different area. We are not ruling anything out yet.”
The store’s eBay name is cinemacollectorsvegas.
For more information, call 702-369-6916.
Contact Henderson/Anthem View reporter Michael Lyle at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5201.