Philly AIDS Thrift to Reopen Giovanni’s Room

Back at the end of April, we reported that Giovanni’s Room – the nation’s oldest LGBT bookstore – was closing its doors, due to financial hardships and the inability to lock down a buyer.

However, we just got word that Philly AIDS Thrift has signed a lease on the space at 1145 Pine Street, and will be introducing a new Center City outpost of its successful thrift store, set to officially open in October. Proceeds from the store will be donated to local AIDS service organizations.

Philly AIDS Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room will pay homage to the pioneering bookstore by incorporating its name ad signage into the new space, and by carrying a wide selection of new and used LGBT books.

“For many of us, Giovanni’s Room represented the heart of the community, and we are thrilled to be able to celebrate and carry on its legacy with this exciting new project,” said Kiran Matsko, Philly AIDS Thrift board president.

In the coming weeks, the 3,000-square-foot store will undergo a renovation to maximize the space’s unique character and layout. The new store is scheduled to officially open on the weekend of October 10 (coinciding with Outfest). However, there will be “sneak a peek” shopping days throughout September. “The store is already in great shape, so we don’t have to do any construction or major overhauling,” said store co-manager Tom Brennan.

In addition to new and used books, Philly AIDS Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room will carry a wide variety of housewares, jewelry, clothing, small furniture pieces, and collectibles.

The new retail outlet joins the Philly AIDS Thrift’s flagship store, located at 710 South Fifth Street. “Our goal at both stores is exactly the same – to sell the lovely, useful, interesting, amusing, and sometimes mysterious stuff generous people donate to our thrift store and then distribute the proceed to local organizations involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS,” said store co-manager Christina Kallas-Saritsoglou.

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