Inside Forbidden Planet’s Less Forbidding New Location

Photos: Sarah Darville.

At Forbidden Planet’s new location, which opened last Tuesday, the shelves still overflow with comic books, graphic novels, and action figures  – but according to manager Jeff Ayers, there’s one big difference from the old store at the corner of Broadway and 12th Street. “It’s not a cave,” he said, pointing at windows in the front and a skylight in the back. “There’s a sense of actually being able to breathe.”

The new location at 832 Broadway is the store’s third on the block south of Union Square where it first opened in 1981. For those who remember sky-high shelves and bumping into other customers in the aisles, the 40 percent increase in space will likely be a shock to the system.

“F.P. has always had that cool, grimy — not dirty… but that reputation of being jam-packed,” Mr. Ayers said. “We want it to be the same, and a little classier.” The store’s most recent Yelp reviewer appreciated the upgrades, writing, “So much more room and THE A/C WORKS!!!”

Mr. Ayers described the store’s aesthetic as “Captain America’s garage”: red and blue walls are decorated with hubcabs that will soon be joined by red, white and blue tires. The change of scenery, said Mr. Ayers, had nothing to do with a rent hike – the store simply needed more space and came to an agreement with its landlord to leave with five years left on their lease. “We’re just trying to jazz it up and class it up a little bit,” he said.

Hours are Sunday through Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Wednesday from 9 a.m. to midnight; and Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to midnight.