A 34-year-old Wilmington comic book store has embarked on a new adventure in downtown Wilmington.
Memory Lane Comics & Toys, which had been in a strip center on Market Street for four years, opened last week at 201 Princess St.
"We've always been big fans of downtown and the historic side of it, and we'd been looking for a place to expand and get bigger and better," said Ben Motsinger, who has owned Memory Lane with his brother, Jacob Motsinger, for more than seven years.
The store's sales floor, which was previously less than 1,000 square feet at Memory Lane's former location at 5214 Market St., is now a little more than 1,200 square feet on Princess Street. Memory Lane is occupying the space where New Elements Gallery used to be before it moved to 271 N. Front St.
Before Memory Lane was on Market Street, the store had been on Oleander Drive for about 16 years.
In addition to a larger sales floor, its newest location gives Memory Lane, which also sells comic books and merchandise online on eBay, an office and vault as well as two upstairs offices.
"We had to do something to get a little bit bigger because we were just running out of space in the old spot," Ben Motsinger said.
Another advantage of the new address is that it's between two parking decks, with a third nearby, he said. That will make it easier for customers, especially for events that draw a crowd like the upcoming Free Comic Book Day on May 6, Ben Motsinger said.
He said he and his brother will be able to plan events in conjunction with several of the other local businesses in downtown Wilmington, which have already been receptive to the idea of working with the comic book store.
"It's a real community, which is something we've never really been involved in. Down here everybody wants to work together because everybody wants everyone to succeed," Ben Motsinger said.
Along with finding a suitable space, the fact that another comic book store, Nerdvana, had closed its doors on Front Street was another factor in the decision to move.
"That was definitely a selling point for us because we never wanted to step on anybody's toes, but we've been wanting to be downtown for a while now," Ben Motsinger said.