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"If you don't have the money, you can't sustain the business," said General Manager Ed Conklin from Dutton's.
The bookstore is a victim of a risky expansion a couple years back.
"We closing basically because of debt that was incurred from the expansion into Beverly Hills, which it turns out was a mistake. It just kind of buried us," Conklin said.
In its hayday, Dutton's was a popular book for celebrity book signings. It housed hundreds of thousands of books and was known for stocking hard-to-find titles.
The manager said the building has been home to a bookstore since the early 1960s. Now the property is due to be redeveloped.
"I always miss it when something unique goes away," said customer Deborah Greenhill.
Lynne Culp is a teacher who took the day off to be at Dutton's final day. She used to work at Dutton's years ago, and said the store closing a cultural loss for the community.
"The people here love books and know books," Culp said.
The sense of community was what made the bookstore special.
"People can come here and talk about books. They've seen our kids grow up here, their kids have kind of grown up here, many of our customers' kids have worked here, and that's the biggest part I think that will be lost, not to mention the employees losing their jobs," Conklin said.
But when the profits aren't there, neither is the fairytale ending.
Everything is 60 percent off until the bookstore's doors will shut for the last time at 7 p.m. The store is located at 11975 San Vicente Blvd. in Los Angeles.