Arlington County

Belmont TV to Close After Nearly 75 Years in Business

If you grew up in the D.C. area, you know the jingle.

"Whatever you want / whatever it is / whatever you want / think Belmont!"

The Belmont TV ad has been a mainstay of the region for generations. And at the end of October, the company will close its last remaining store for the last time.

Owner Ken Sickmen said it was time to stop running the business his family opened nearly 75 years ago.

"After doing it for 50 years -- I’m 68 -- my wife says, 'Enough! It's time to enjoy life a little bit,'" he said, standing in front of the few TVs left in the store.

Sickmen's father opened the first store in Northwest D.C. in 1943, repairing radios. Over the years, they have had seven locations. Sickmen's job is the only job he's ever had.

As for the famous jingle, he said he paid an ad agency to come up with it more than 30 years ago. Members of the Starland Vocal Band recorded it, he said.

"I had no idea it would stick in people’s heads like it did," Sickmen said.

While the ads played a big role in Belmont TV's success, Sickmen said his father's decision to buy the buildings where they operated kept them alive in lean times.

The last items in the store on King Street in Arlington are on sale.

The store is set to close Oct. 31. It will be converted into a laundromat.

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