What Was Once Meltdown, Burns Down, In Los Angeles

Industry-leading and highly prominent comic book store Meltdown Comics of Sunset Boulevard,  Los Angeles closed down for good back in 2018 after twenty-five years.  Famous for appearing in many movies and TV shows, with a prominent A-list actor customer base and a tendency to hit all manner of headlines, with promotions, launches and premieres. The location retained its studio for recording podcasts, performing shows and the like as Nerdmelt Open Mic, and currently, NTWRK, describing itself as a mobile-first video platform, it features original daily content hosted by celebrities, musicians, and notable pop-culture figures – all paired with shoppable exclusive products launched in partnership with premier brands. But as a comic book shop it had seen its day.

Meltdown Comics Building Burns Down in Los Angeles
Photo by Mike Bauman.

But now it has gone completely. As of last night, the location on 7522 Sunset Boulevard, has burned down to the ground. Mike Bauman shared the news, saying "Three fires in the neighborhood within an hour. Someone is having fun. This is the building on Sunset between Gardner and Sierra Bonita which used to house Meltdown Comics, The Ruby, the Russian caviar/sandwich joint, and the Parisian Florist. I lost count of fire companies at ten."

A local TV news report runs here.

According to the Los Angeles Fire Department, there were 84 firefighters responding to the vacant building as of 9:10 p.m. where flames had spread from the original unit through the attic. Crews initially responded to the fire in the 7400 block of West Sunset Boulevard, near Gardner Street, at about 8:45 p.m., according to the department. When crews arrived on scene, flames were already exploding through the roof of the structure, forcing the firefighters to take a defensive position outside of the structure. The full extent of the fire was still unknown as fire crews applied large hose streams from the exterior of the structure. The blaze was officially declared a knockdown at about 9:22 p.m. with 84 firefighters on scene. According to LAFD, gas lines were reportedly feeding the blaze until crews were able to shut off utilities to the structure. There were no injuries, and the cause of the fire was still under investigation.

Reportedly the status of the building was previously under threat from developers. People have been sharing their memories of what once was…

Ben Stiller: So sorry to hear this. @MeltdownComics was a special place and so much creativity came out of there. A part of recent LA. cultural history on historic Sunset Blvd.

Kumail Nanjiani: Every week for 6 years, I got to do a show at @MeltdownComics with @emilyvgordon @jonahray @EdASalazar & too many friends/heroes to name. It was our first home in LA. Last night, @MeltdownComics burned to the ground. Goodbye you magical place. I will always miss you.

Jody Houser: I know the store closed a while ago and the building was going to be demolished for new construction, but still sad to see it go like that.

Brian Lynch: Very sad the building formerly known as Meltdown burned down last night. Going to Meltdown was a weekly ritual. Lunch, Meltdown, every Wed. Had a signing there the day ANGEL launched, and they through a FANTASTIC 90's fraternity party when EVERYBODY'S DEAD came out. The staff there were all so wonderful and helpful and supportive. A lot of them have gone onto huge stuff in the comics industry and beyond. Anyway, Meltdown was cool. It closed a while ago, but the fact that the building itself burned down is depressing.

April O'Neil @meltdowncomics literally melting down is very on brand for 2020


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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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