Embrace your geekery and shop 'til you drop
For pop culture obsessives who want to explore the influences on today’s blockbuster films and TV shows and want to retain them in the form of physical copies, it’s a challenging quest, with a dying number of places to score old-school media in 2019. Thankfully, Tucson is a desert oasis for thirsty nerds who want to expand their own fandom, so save a little room in your luggage!
Bookmans Entertainment Exchange is an Arizona-based, must-explore used bookstore that also buys, sells, and trades all kinds of media. Having first opened more than 40 years ago, they operate three locations in Tucson with a constantly rotating selection of merchandise. There’s treasure on those signature orange shelves and frequent events that revolve around geeky fun year-round.
Zia Records has been around since 1980 and continues to thrive. You’ll find not only brand-new and used movies, music, and video games, but also board games, T-shirts, figurines, and more. Tucson Comic-Con founder Mike Olivares curates the selection here and the quality shows on the shelves.
Tucson also has a solid comic book shop scene with Heroes and Villains, which has won numerous awards from the Tucson Weekly and the Arizona Daily Star, along with expertly staffed longtime spots like Fantasy Comics and Charlie’s Comic Books. Long summers here mean plenty of time for reading!
People seeking funky brick-and-mortar shopping will find a lot to love on Historic Fourth Avenue. Tucson Thrift Shop has been a source for retro outfits and last-ditch Halloween costumes since 1979. Stop in nearby Antigone Books, which has been around just as long, for a thoughtful selection of books, cards, and gifts. If scoring a vintage Jordan jersey or Star Wars action figures is more your jam, check out Generation Cool, whose owners’ treasure hunts have been the subject of Netflix’s original reality series, Slobby’s World, shot right here.