While bookshops are rapidly (and depressingly) disappearing in the real world, cinema has preserved some of the most famous on film. Some of the most interesting bookshops in movies offer tomes on magic and the occult — a portal for film protagonists to find answers about the spooky goings-on around them. Plus, the shops just make for really cool sets. Here are several real-life and fictional occult bookshops in cinema where we would happily browse for books.
Joe Dante’s 1981 werewolf classic finds the sleuthing pals of a television reporter at an amazing occult bookshop to study up on the fanged fiends that have been attacking their friend and all the lore associated with things that go RAWR in the night.
The teen coven in The Craft gets the five-finger discount at their local occult bookshop, but the proprietress plays an important role in shaping young witch Sarah. And every spooky boy and girl across the world wanted their very own witchy godmother after watching this movie.
The Ninth Gate
Ancient grimoires that contain spells for summoning the Old Scratch. Yep, sounds like director Roman Polanski’s idea of a good time.
A mysterious book written by a mad architect tells the story of the Three Mothers — sinister women who rule the world with dark magic. Director Dario Argento shows us the delightfully dark places the book takes its protagonist in search of the truth.
The Neverending Story
This is the bookstore where bullied Bastian ducks in to escape a beating and discovers a curious book about a magical world called Fantasia.
Distraught wife and expectant mother Rosemary is determined to uncover the truth about her bizarre neighbors in their ominous apartment building. Read up on the real-life locations in the film, including the featured bookshop, on ScoutingNY.
Would def shop here.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Welcome to Borgin and Burkes, and its strange collection of macabre objects and magical books.
All he could tell was that he was standing in the stone fireplace of what looked like a large, dimly lit wizard’s shop — but nothing in here was ever likely to be on a Hogwarts school list. A glass case nearby held a withered hand on a cushion, a blood-stained pack of cards, and a staring glass eye. Evil-looking masks stared down from the walls, an assortment of human bones lay upon the counter, and rusty, spiked instruments hung from the ceiling. Even worse, the dark, narrow street Harry could see through the dusty shop window was definitely not Diagon Alley.