“I only hope we never lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a geek.”
Coliseum of Comics Millenia (when it was known as our Orlando store) opened its doors on February 1st, 1983 on Orange Blossom Trail near Holden Ave.
Our first location was in the back of the Orange Blossom Shopping Center. The original owner was Phil Boyle. The initial stock consisted of comics collected and sold through conventions by Phil and Brendan Boyle, plus a moderately lame assortment of TSR games and matching miniatures.
Everything you’d expect a kid to have just out of the seventies with nothing but a dream and a Camaro.
The actual grand opening happened a few days later on February 6th, 1983. After the first six months and the expiration of the lease, the store was moved to a better and less expensive store front where the water fell from the ceiling rather than along the inside of the front door. Total square footage for the new location was just under 500 sq. ft. The Jeffersons would have been so proud.
After four years on the west side of the trail, we moved east (and north). We stayed at this location and expanded along the plaza over the next ten years until road expansions and lost parking forced us to move. In May of 1997 we moved and grew to the South Trail Plaza shopping center. For a time, it was our largest store at roughly 3400 square feet of retail space, more than seven times the size of the first Orange Blossom Trail location. Awesome, when you think about it.
Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), we couldn’t stay on OBT any longer and moved to our current digs near the Mall at Millenia. We shrank some our gaming space, but added quantity and quality of our product mix. We now cater to the local and traveler alike and are all the happier for it.
Coliseum of Comics Kissimmee opened on May 1st, 1990.
The Coliseum of Comics II, as we called it (yes, we just left the 80′s), was our first expansion under a partnership with other like-minded investors. It was a tough start. Later that same year, we opened our third store in Pine Hills. Not too surprisingly, the partnership was dissolved the following year and the Pine Hills store was closed at the expiration of the two-year lease. It was Pine Hills, after all.
Not all was lost. In the summer of 1992, our Kissimmee store doubled its size and followed quickly with another expansion bringing our square footage to almost 3000. After a few options closed, a desire for a new location arose. We moved the store to a great old building in Historic Downtown Kissimmee at 22 Broadway. The building was (and still is) more than 100 years old and provided much needed gaming space while doing little for our retail area.
Just recently (2010) we moved again. Moving to a larger, more open facility just a couple miles away back on 192. We now have a full 5200 square feet of retail and gaming space without the hindrance of hallways, doors and ridiculously large supports running the length of the store. With a dedicated 2000 sq feet just to table and card game play, we’re now the place to play – the Central Florida Gaming Center. There’s always to learn or play with round-the-clock gaming.
Our years of experience have gone in to making it as great as we possibly can.
Fashion Square Mall
Coliseum of Comics at the Fashion Square Mall starts its life as an affiliate in 1999.
A new Coliseum partner purchased Comic Trader in 1999. The location was bought by Steve Ruta and the store became the Coliseum of Comics Annex on November 1st, 1999. With dwindling sales and a location that was both too small and too disassociated with the surrounding area, the store was moved into the Orlando Fashion Square Mall. The store has grown and thrived and moved several times in the mall arriving at it’s new spot in 2007. In 2008 a new owner, the previous manager, Aaron Holland purchased the store and gave up all his free time. He really didn’t need it anyway as he’s doing what he loves.
Coliseum of Comics in Downtown Lakeland rises from the ashes in 2006.
Downtown Comics in Winter Haven 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-lived run with a new owner and a few lessons learned, Coliseum of Comics purchased the store.
During this time, another Coliseum affiliate store entered into Lakeland. Several moves and mistakes later, we divulged the original owner of his investment and took both existing stores and created a more centralized, focused hobby retailer for Lakeland and the surrounding areas.
Seminole Towne Center
Coliseum of Comics in the Seminole Towne Center opened on Black Friday in 2008.
An affiliate of Coliseum of Comics with owner/manager David Corporon and owner Lesley Horwarth. Combining a mix of passions and vast years of retail experience, they’ve built Seminole county’s best place to shop for the comic book enthusiast. Our latest addition has been a welcome one with many years ahead to look forward to.
The Story Continues…
After almost 30 years in the business, Coliseum of Comics continues to represent the standard by which all other comic shops are compared.
A well-trained, knowledgeable staff will greet you every time you visit any of our stores. If you have a question we WANT you to ask us. When you can’t find something, we’ll do everything we can to get it for you. Customer service, as cliché as it might sound, is really the most important part of what makes us us.
And by the way… we’re not your parents. We’re not going to tell you what you can and can’t buy. And we’re not saying you even have to buy anything. Just stop by and take a look. It’s likely you’ll find something to fit you!
At Coliseum of Comics, we carry something for every interest and every age at all of our stores.
Why the heck wouldn’t we?
Being a comic and games retailer means more to us than just stocking shelves and scanning your purchases. We want to know your name. We want to know what your like (or don’t like). We’d even like you to consider us your friend. A friend with the same unquenchable thirst for comic books and gaming as you.