Florida comic book chain Coliseum of Comics opens today
The Florida comic book chain Coliseum Of Comics will begin opening its doors to customers starting today. They will open today in six of their stores in Millenia, Kissimmee, Jacksonville Riverside, Tampa and Clermont, opening daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. While their other two stores, Lakeland and Jacksonville Beach, will open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. They deep cleaned the stores throughout the weekend and provided concierge service and curbside pickup, but now the doors are opening.
And before new comics start coming in – Coliseum seems to be sticking with Diamond – they run #New2U Comic Book Day on Wednesday, when they’ll stock shelves with a selection of older first issues at original cover prices to let customers try out some series they might have missed. They also have a new Hulk statue to unveil at their Kissimmee store on Wednesday.
This is the story of the Florida comic book store chain, founded by Phil Boyle.
Coliseum of Comics Millenia opened on February 1, 1983 on Orange Blossom Trail near Holden Ave. Our first location was at the back of the Orange Blossom mall. The original owner was Phil Boyle. Initial stock consisted of comics collected and sold at conventions by Phil and Brendan Boyle, along with a moderately small assortment of TSR games and assorted miniatures. Everything you’d expect from a kid who just came out of the 70s with nothing but a dream and a Camaro. The actual inauguration took place a few days later, on February 6, 1983. After the first six months and the expiry of the lease, the store was moved to a better and cheaper storefront where water fell from the ceiling rather than along the inside of the front door. The total area of the new location was just under 500 square feet. After four years on the west side of the trail, we moved east (and north). We stayed there and expanded along the square for the next ten years until road expansion and loss of parking forced us to move. In May 1997 we moved and grew to the South Trail Plaza Mall. For a time, it was our largest store with approximately 3,400 square feet of retail space, more than seven times the size of the first Orange Blossom Trail location. Brilliant, when you think about it. After a few years, we moved to our current digs near Millenia Mall. We’ve reduced some of our play space, but added quantity and quality to our product line. We now welcome locals and travelers.
Coliseum of Comics Kissimmee opened on May 1, 1990. The Comic Colosseum II, as we called it (yes, we just left the 80s), was our first expansion in partnership with other like-minded investors. It was a difficult start. Later that same year, we opened our third store in Pine Hills. Unsurprisingly, the partnership dissolved the following year and the Pine Hills store was closed when the two-year lease expired. All was not lost. In the summer of 1992, our Kissimmee store doubled in size and followed quickly with another expansion bringing our square footage to nearly 3,000. After a few options closed, the desire for a new location grew. makes you feel. We moved the store to a grand old building in historic downtown Kissimmee at 22 Broadway. The building was (and still is) over 100 years old and provided much needed play space while doing little for our retail area. In 2010, we moved again. Moving to a larger, more open facility just a few miles away at 192. We now have 5200 square feet of retail and gaming space without the clutter of ridiculously large hallways, doors, and racks on the full length of the store. With 2000 square feet dedicated solely to table and card games, we are now the place to play – the Central Florida Game Center. There’s always something to learn or play with games around the clock. Our years of experience have helped make it as good as it gets.
Fashion square mall
Comic Colosseum at Fashion Square Mall began life as an affiliate in 1999. A new Coliseum partner purchased Comic Trader in 1999. The location was purchased by Steve Ruta and the store became the Comic Book Coliseum Annex on November 1, 1999. With declining sales and a location that was both too small and too dissociated from the surrounding area, the store was relocated to the Orlando Fashion Square Mall. The store grew and prospered and moved around the mall several times arriving at its new location in 2007. In 2008 a new owner, former manager Aaron Holland bought the store and gave up all of his time free. He really didn’t need it anyway because he does what he loves.
Comic Book Coliseum in downtown Lakeland rose from its ashes in 2006. Downtown Comics in Winter Haven was opened on October 15, 1991 by Matt Milburn and ran successfully until a job opportunity took him away from his passion – comic books. After a short run with a new owner and some lessons learned, Coliseum of Comics purchased the store. Meanwhile, another Coliseum affiliate store has entered Lakeland. Several moves and mistakes later, we disclosed the original owner of his investment and took the two existing stores and created a more centralized and focused leisure retailer for Lakeland and surrounding areas.
Coliseum of Comics expanded to New Tampa in May 2014. Opening on Free Comic Book Day, we enjoyed meeting our new neighbors in a community that needed a comic book store – and we’re glad to to be that store.
Coliseum of Comics expanded to Altamonte Springs on March 31, 2016. Located right next to the TooJays in their plaza, our new location is ready to help!