Creature store returns to physical location on Magnolia

A decade after last selling a Frankenstein statuette or a King Kong action figure, Creature Features is open again in Burbank with shelves stocked with memorabilia from many classic horror, sci-fi and fantasy films.

The Magnolia Boulevard storefront is organized much like a library as each display case is dedicated to a well-known movie monster or a TV series ranging from "The Addams Family" to "The Twilight Zone."

This month, the fastest-selling items are anything from the Godzilla franchise, which has been given a cinematic reboot by Legendary Pictures and is due out in May, said Creature Features owner Taylor White.

An action figure based on the giant monster from Japan that might have gone for $5 five years ago would now likely come with a price tag of $45, he said.

"It's usually based on what's currently in the air, like right now, Godzilla outsells everything 10-to-1," White said. "I promise you, by August, nobody will care and they'll jump to the next thing, which will probably be 'Planet of the Apes.'"

White started collecting as a kid after seeing Ray Harryhausen's "Mysterious Island" and was selling "Star Wars" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" T-shirts by the time he was a sophomore in high school.

"When I'd see these movies come out, I felt like I needed to own a little piece of it," he said. "I had to take something away with me."

After continuing to amass his collection over the years during a few stints in movie make-up and visual effects, White opened Creature Features on Olive Avenue in 1994, but opted to close up shop 10 years later with the rise of eBay and online auctions.

Business was good and there was no shortage of movie fans willing to buy, yet White said he missed getting his customers together under one roof.

Creature Features reopened at the end of last year at 2904 W. Magnolia Blvd.

"This is where people would come in and converse, share stories and swap ideas and get inspired, that doesn't come with sitting at a computer and selling things on eBay," he said. "We really missed Burbank and the camaraderie that came along with a store like this."

The 2,000-square-foot store also has an art gallery. The current exhibit features artwork celebrating the 50th anniversary of "The Outer Limits" to be followed by new collections that will rotate every two to three weeks, White said.

There's also no shortage of permanent fixtures around Creature Features, such as a large $3,500 sculpture of the phantom from "The Phantom of the Opera" and a 12-foot-tall recreation of King Kong fighting off airplanes atop the Empire State Building.

Having decorations like that sometimes generates reactions similar to when those classic titles first hit the big screen.

"We're ecstatic," White said. "It's so exciting to see people come in through the front door and they literally gasp."



Follow Arin Mikailian on Twitter: @ArinMikailian.


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