Hearne: Prospero’s Uptown a Midtown Force to be Reckoned With

IMG_1799Think of it as the sorcerer’s companion

The new Prospero’s Uptown Books at 3600 Broadway isn’t just another bookstore. After all, bookstores as we knew them are a dying breed. One of the many victims of technology and the Internet along with magazines, newspapers, CDs, DVDs and books themselves.

These are fast-changing times and in order to survive bookstores need to have a lot going for them. Like a vast array of offerings, competitive pricing and comfortable, attractive digs. And personality, food, libations, art, entertainment, a great location and a reasonable overhead wouldn’t hurt.

Guess what? IMG_1798The new Prospero’s Uptown has them all.

“This is the third Prospero’s store,” says owner Will Leathem. “We have one in Blue Springs and of course the one on 39th Street which we’re expanding also.”

Perhaps you recall the expression, size matters.

IMG_1796That’s triply true in the case of Prospero’s Uptown.

“The Prospero’s Uptown is three times the size of our 39th Street store,” Leathem says. “And it’s all on one floor, street level with convenient parking.”

With art and furniture galleries on either side, it’s part of the blossoming new Uptown Shoppes retail center that’s soon to include a 31,000 square foot flea market.

As for the frou-frou, “We have a dining and cafe area up front with coffee and sandwiches and some vegan dishes,” Leathem says. “And we’ll be doing First Friday art openings every other month starting in February.”

IMG_1797Which brings us to Prospero’s vast retail inventory.

“We offer comics, movies and graphic novels,” Leathem says. “We didn’t have the space for all that on 39th Street. And we have a live performance area where we can do movies, films, poetry reading and book signings. We sell new and used books – particularly of local writers – and we have used CDs, albums and a lot of vintage vinyl.”

There’s more.

“We also have a rare books room,” Leathem says. “We got a few books from Spivey’s and (landlord) Larry Sells will be carrying some conspiracy collectibles.

“We also have a kids section with a crafts table and we’re thinking about doing a family New Year’s Eve party from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with snacks and food for the family. You know, everybody’s safe and goes home early.”

The wildest thing thus far since opening earlier this fall?

“Good god, dude,” Leathem says. “The opening night party with two bands, including Sex Act – that’s the name of the band.”p

Other hoped for amenities include serving food full time and a baby grand piano for musicians like Mark Lowrey to perform on.

“Did you know that Barclay Martin‘s first show was at my store on 39th Street?” Leathem says.




This entry was posted in Hearne_Christopher. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Hearne: Prospero’s Uptown a Midtown Force to be Reckoned With

  1. bubba says:

    good for them. Just browsing is entertainment in itself but I always find something to buy. Truly belongs on the the best of KC list. Just hope that they benefit from people like myself that like to browse old smelly books rather than cold files that can be down loaded. I thank them for my copy of HST’s “Kingdom of Fear”, Lord Jim, and several other old smelly books.

  2. chuck says:

    Sounds like a pretty cool store.

    It needs the Zapruder film on endless loop if Sells is the landlord.


    Larry Sells, with a degree in Physics and a JD in Law, specializes in the collection and investigation of photographs related to the assassination. Mr. Sells presented two sets of photographs never before seen. The first dealt with Dean Andrews and was supported with testimony connecting Andrews with Clay Shaw. The second consisted of a series of photographs of Alan Dulles at the Johnson Ranch. These photographs are of special interest given the fact that neither the Johnson Library nor the library holding the Dulles papers has any records indicating a visit by Dulles to Johnson’s ranch. The visit apparently occurred not long before the assassination in 1963 and is denied by the Johnson library even in the face of the photographs.

    Ya actually oughtta have Sells contribute here Hearne. The guy is very interesting.

  3. smartman says:

    Screw the conspiracy theory stuff. Jesus killed JFK. How come nobody’s ever explored that angle?

    As for Prospero’s, let’s hope they prosper. The smell of a good bookstore can be as intoxicating and rewarding as walking into a tobacco shop,a great restaurant or sneaking up the covers between some silky smooth thighs.

  4. paulwilsonkc says:

    Smarty, I love, love, love this store, but I think I love the smell of a good cigar/pipe joint a little MORE!

Comments are closed.