While the longstanding likes of Rhino in Westwood and House of Records in Venice have fallen by the wayside, the LA branch of SF’s Amoeba has gone from strength to strength; indeed, this is the largest independent record store in the US. The variety of stock (CDs and DVDs, new and used) is awesome, the prices are fair and the staff know their onions.
|Address:||6400 W Sunset Blvd
|Opening hours:||Mon-Sat 10:30am-11pm; Sun 11am-9pm|
Amoeba Music is an independent music chain with stores in Berkeley, San Francisco, and Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. Founded by former employees of nearby Rasputin Records, it opened on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley in 1990. The stores are unusually large given their independent status. The San Francisco store, which opened in 1997 in the Haight-Ashbury district, is especially notable for its size. Occupying a 24,000 square foot (2,200 m²) former bowling alley, the store regularly stocks upwards of 100,000 CDs, vinyl records, and audio cassettes, both new and used.
The Southern California location was added on November 17, 2001 when the store opened a new branch on Sunset Boulevard (at Cahuenga Boulevard) in Hollywood. At the time of its opening, the store planned to stock as many as 250,000 titles, which would place the store among the largest independent music stores in the world. According to Los Angeles Times writer Michael Hiltzik, the location “instantly became a Hollywood landmark.”
The stores also trade in movies, though secondarily to their music business. Each location has a smaller collection of movies on DVD, VHS, Laserdisc and Blu-ray Disc. In addition, each store maintains a selection of music-related posters and artwork for purchase, as well as Amoeba-branded merchandise. The Hollywood location has the entire 2nd floor dedicated to DVD and Blu-ray Disc. In addition, Amoeba Music frequently holds free shows during store hours with locally and nationally known artists from a wide variety of genres.
The stores in San Francisco and Hollywood also have a modest selection of new and used video-games for current generation systems (such as the Xbox 360, Wii and the PlayStation 3).
This store is a playable venue in the music game, Guitar Hero World Tour. Paul McCartney recorded his EP Amoeba’s Secret at an unannounced live performance at the Hollywood location on 27 June 2007.