Secret stash
Fans gather at the Stash for a 2006 appearance by Kevin Smith.

Filmmaker Kevin Smith is closing the Los Angeles version of the Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash store, according to reports.

As reported on News Askew, the official organ of Smith's film / comic book / toy marketing empire, the shop is falling victim to the "tough economy." [Update: The item, which was available on the News Askew site early Tuesday morning, appears to have been subsequently removed.]

There's no word at this hour on the outlook for the Red Bank original at 35 Broad Street. Blogger Peter Sciretta, who first reported the closing of the LA store on /film, says the Red Bank store is "still going strong" after a decade of operation.

Sciretta reports the LA store "has had a hard time staying afloat since
opening a few years ago. In 2007, the Westwood location was shut down
and moved into the popular DVD store Laser Blazer. But now the economic
downturn has forced Laser Blazer to shut the doors."

He adds that the store faced tough competition from comics retailer Golden Apple, which has a store in Hollywood and another in the San Fernando valley.

From News Askew:

It’s sad news, folks, and we hate to headline with it today, but we’ve
just heard that, due to the tough economy, Stash West is going to have
to close up shop once again. Once thought gone forever, Stash West was
given new life inside of the great Laser Blazer
store, after moving out of its original Westwood, CA digs. It was nice
having the store around for a while longer, and we certainly appreciate
all that Kevin, Ron and his staff did to keep the store running, as it
has always been a labor of love by fans, for fans.

This quote comes from Ron, owner of Laser Blazer,
who championed this project all along. We’re extremely thankful to for
hosting the store and giving it another run in Los Angeles:

    "We gave it our best shot and we’re sorry
    to see another great comic book shop leave L.A. It has been a pleasure
    taking care of all of Kevin’s fans. If you haven’t been in yet, it’s
    your last chance to see The Stash and say your goodbyes. All Stash
    merchandise will be discounted 20% until the final day."

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