Silver Lake’s A Different Light Bookstore Bites The Dust—Literally

It’s not news that gay bookstores are swiftly going the way of the dodo, but residents were surprised to see the original Silver Lake location of A Different Light, the queer bookshop George Leigh and Norman Laurila opened on Santa Monica Boulevard on 1979, turned to rubble over the weekend.  The shop had closed in 1992, but work was underway by the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council’s Urban Design & Preservation Committee to get the building, which also once housed a Red Car trolly terminal. declared a historic cultural monument.

On the Eastsider LA blog, responses to the demolition varied:

“Don’t they get that these charming little shops in the older buildings are part of what made people want to visit Silver Lake? There are so many things wrong with this, and I have such a hard time realizing that I have no influence over developers’ plans for this city.”  —K

“I appreciate the concern for gay history in our neighborhood, but I don’t see how it’s relevant if the bookstore left 20 years ago. I’d rather have more housing that allows new neighbors to enjoy the community we love than have people hide behind a store that died decades ago to prevent the growth of our community.” —Kenny

“How very sad that now the original building for A Different Light is gone. A sad footnote to a sad story.” —Gar

A Different Light’s locations in West Hollywood and San Francisco have both closed, leaving California without a gay-specific bookstore (to our knowledge).  Think about that when you’re ordering Tales of the City on Amazon.


Source: the EastSider LA via Towleroad; Image via