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Music

Amoeba Music won’t reopen original Sunset Boulevard store: ‘We have no choice’

Amoeba Music
Amoeba Music’s original Sunset Boulevard location, closed because of the coronavirus outbreak, will not reopen.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Though you didn’t know it at the time, your last shopping spree at Amoeba Music in Hollywood was your final one.

After a month of speculation, the famed record store has announced that it won’t be reopening at its original location at the corner of Sunset and Cahuenga. The spot, where Amoeba had operated since its 2001 opening, has been shuttered since the statewide stay-at-home orders were announced in March.

Instead, it will devote its energy to opening in its new location, hopefully in the fall, at 6200 Hollywood Boulevard.

In a statement, Jim Henderson, co-owner of Amoeba, said: “We are devastated for our run at this beautiful destination to end like this, but we simply have no choice.”

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According to a just-issued press release from Amoeba, “The plan was to close the Sunset location in the fall and then move to the new site as soon as possible while moving operations to its new space. That now will not be the case, with the Sunset store having served its last customer and housed its final performance.” Henderson declined further comment. The company had planned a summer-long farewell party to the old location. That will no longer occur.

In mid-April, Amoeba announced the creation of a GoFundMe page as a way to offset costs associated with the COVID-19 shutdown. The record store, which also has two locations in the San Francisco area, is still paying rent and bills on the shops, and health insurance for some of its 400 employees.

In a sense, Amoeba’s fate was decided in 2015, when it sold its 24,000-square-foot building at Sunset and Cahuenga to developer GPI Companies for a reported $34 million. The buyer has announced plans to build a 26-story high-rise in its place. Since the sale, Amoeba has been paying rent on Sunset.

Last year, Amoeba announced the move to 6200 Hollywood and received its building permits in March. Since the pandemic, the company has been paying rent on two big spaces, neither of them generating money, in the heart of Hollywood.

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The announcement means that the shop can begin its relocation without having to worry about managing temporary social distancing measures at the tightly-packed Sunset location.


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