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Long lines at Circuit City stores in the Southland

January 17, 2009 | 12:20 pm

Shoppers eager to grab their share of discounted plasmas and Blu-ray DVDs lined up in droves today as Circuit City stores began liquidating their inventory. The bankrupt electronics retailer is shutting down its 567 U.S. stores and laying off 34,000 workers.

By late morning, the line outside the Circuit City in Hollywood was almost 100 people deep. Carlos Reyes, 24, and girlfriend Diana Anzora, 22, of Los Angeles lined up to buy video games and DVDs.

"I prefer Best Buy and if it wasn't for the liquidation I probably wouldn't have come, especially this early on a Saturday," Reyes said. "We didn't know it was going to be such a big line."

Reyes said they would probably stick to smaller items since all sales are final.

"We don't want to get anything too big," he said. "You don't want to not be able to return an HD or plasma."

Andrew Lobel, 26, had different plans. The screenwriter from Los Feliz -- and first-time Circuit City shopper -- stood in line for 40 minutes for a chance to snag a 46-inch LCD TV on sale.

"I'm waiting to trample someone to death," he joked.

The scene outside the store looked very similar to that on Black Friday, he said. A steady stream of customers had been lining up outside since the store opened at 10 a.m., said store director Jesse Alcaraz. A handful of them read books to pass the time. Some called friends to pass on the word about the sales.

Inside, the atmosphere was busy but not hectic, as customers mostly flocked to TVs and browsed bins of marked-down PlayStation and Xbox games. Merchandise was marked for 10%, 20% and 30% off. 

Read more about the retailer's decision to shut down.

-- Catherine Ho