MANCHESTER, NH – For 20 years, Double Midnight comics was located in a strip shopping center at 245 Maple St., looking out onto Valley Street. As of January 4, the business is no longer located there. Instead, the entire store packed up and moved to 252 Willow St. outside the south parking lot of the Factory on Willow. Where the Maple Street location was easy to find and easily recognizable, the Willow Street location is a bit hidden away.
A banner hung on a fence indicates where it can be found, as well as a paper hanging on a door. Tractor trailers sit on the roadside. Three automobile businesses stand on the other side of the street, including Eastern Auto Body. The area has a distinctly industrial feel to it, wedged in between a residential area and the commercial district on South Willow.
The Maple Street location had previously been packed full of products, such that there was hardly any room to walk. The new location has considerably more space, which it seems will soon get filled up just as quickly – if owner Chris Proulx’s expectations are anything to go by.
“When we first started out, we were in a small storefront,” Proulx said. “In 2010, we expanded. We were very cramped in the old spot. We were always keeping an eye out for spaces where we could expand.”
While many products are still packed away from the move, Proulx calls it a soft opening. Customers are welcome to come in and shop, or play card games in the game room, or buy comics. When I visited in the afternoon of the store’s first day being open it was already humming with activity as people came in to purchase and discuss.
“Once we got down here, we just fell in love with the space,” Proulx said.
Double Midnight was closed for four days in the beginning of the month while the move was taking place. Despite that, and despite having a new location, business seems to be about the same as it ever was. Proulx suggests that he wants to bring in guests for appearances, and have more events.
Once everything is out on the shelves and unpacked, a grand re-opening day is planned. While no date has been set aside for this, ownership estimates it will take a few weeks to get everything squared away. In the meantime, Magic the Gathering, Dungeons and Dragons, and other events will take place as usual – with possibly a few new ones to be added to the calendar later.
“We’re really excited to be here,” Proulx said. “Some people were a little sad to see us move from a place where we had been for twenty years, but we wouldn’t pick up roots and move if we didn’t feel like this wasn’t taking us to a whole other level. So far, the response has been fantastic.”