Guillermo del Toro

The campaign to save horror bookstore Dark Delicacies got a huge burst from Guillermo del Toro

Contributed by
Jan 20, 2019

The quest to save the iconic Burbank, CA horror-themed bookstore got a shot in the arm from one of the genre's most prolific and respected filmmakers. 

Earlier this week, Del Howison, the owner of Dark Delicacies, posted a GoFundMe campaign he started with his wife, Sue, asking for help to save his business among skyrocketing rents in the Burbank metro area. Faced with rising costs, they'd expected to shutter their doors in May, just short of their 25th anniversary. That changed when a new storefront came available across the street, which the Howisons saw as their one shot to keep their "home of horror" going. 

To help their cause, Guillermo del Toro shared the campaign via his Twitter account earlier today, asking his followers to spread the word about Dark Delicacies, who are "asking for a little help in making a resurrection possible." 

del Toro, who's not just an auteur, but an avowed student of horror and supernatural cinema, ended up inspiring some of his contemporaries to join in the rally to save Dark Delicacies. So far, this includes Monster Squad author Heather Wixson, Mayhem director Joe Lynch, and the incomparable Barbara Crampton, who's appeared in everything from Re-Animator to Channel Zero

As of this writing, the GoFundMe campaign has already gotten just shy of $7,500 worth of donations. Their ultimate goal is $20,000, which seems easily within reach. 

It is a frustrating situation that's familiar to many. As metro areas continue to become more expensive, they end up pricing out the businesses that help give them their unique personalities. For now, at least, it looks like Dark Delicacies will have another shot at the afterlife. 

If you want to contribute to help bring Dark Delicacies' back from the undead, you can do so here

Update: the GoFundMe campaign has already met its initial $10,000 goal, and the Howisons have upped the goal to $30,000 to help with further renovations with their new space. 

"The money is actually phase one," explained the owners. "It allows us to demo and do the floors and plumbing, to paint, [and to] put in security doors, grating, and lightning."

The Howisons were also very grateful to those who donated, giving their business a chance to thrive a little longer.

"We owe it to the fans and donors to put together something special. My hope is to have people walk into the retail space and have their first impression to be 'Wow!' Our store tag line is 'The Home of Horror' and I want to reflect that in its appearance. We’ll also make some stock adjustments as to what we carry. We don’t want to be the department store of Horror. We’d rather carry more boutique items and personal created items shoppers can’t find other places."

Dark Delicacies will be out of their old location by May, and they plan to be in the new store sometime by June. "We will have to have a grand opening event won’t we?" they added. 

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