Entertainment Hollywood

Amoeba Music will not reopen Sunset Blvd. store

Owners hope new shop will be ready ‘sometime  after Labor Day’

HOLLYWOOD — The operators of the landmark Hollywood record store Amoeba Music will not reopen their Sunset Boulevard location, but hope to open their new Hollywood Boulevard store “sometime after Labor Day.”

The store has been shuttered indefinitely since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic, along with the two other Amoeba locations in Berkeley and San Francisco.

“Our store sees over a million customers each year, making us a higher-risk environment during this pandemic than most,” the store’s owners said on the store’s website. “Thus, it is increasingly clear to us that it is highly unlikely we will be allowed to open this summer.”

“With our energy focused on the new store, we are hopeful we can get open earlier than originally expected,” the statement said. “We will have more time and resources available to manage this move and get the new Amoeba ready for prime time before our initial projections, and hopefully in line with a return to some degree of ‘normalcy’ within our community. 

“We will also return our focus over the summer to getting Amoeba.com updated with more used and collectible pieces to serve as a bridge to the new store opening.

“We have to move in the fall and there are timelines and tasks involved in making that happen that were set into motion long before COVID-19. If we don’t focus on getting the new store ready for the fall opening, the hard reality is we may never open again anywhere.”

The store started a GoFundMe page to raise funds during the coronavirus crisis that has caused non-essential businesses to close their doors.

“We have weathered many storms — 9/11, recessions, the internet, downloading and streaming. But we don’t know that we can weather the COVID-19 storm,” founders Dave Prinz and Marc Weinstein said on the GoFundMe page. “With no way to generate income, our savings are running out with bills and rent coming due, and with a primary commitment to our staff, who we are trying to keep as healthy and financially sound as possible.”

The Amoeba founders said they are “exploring every possible means of support, including federal and local grants and loans. But these funds are not guaranteed to come in, and they won’t meet the needs of our short-term future. So, we most humbly ask for your help.”

They said they hope to raise $400,000 and any donation received “will contribute to the cash resources we need to deal with the immediate future, to take care of our staff of over 400 Amoebites, and to allow Amoeba to continue operations. Your donations will also greatly help us finance Amoeba’s upcoming move to our new location in Hollywood this fall.”

As of April 23, the GoFundMe site had generated about 4,000 donations totaling nearly $175,000.

Weinstein posted a note to supporters, saying it was “hard to express how moved we are by the outpouring of love and generosity we’ve seen since we launched our GoFundMe. We weren’t sure if anyone would respond to our campaign, and we are absolutely floored by all of you who have contributed. Thousands of you so far! In just a few days!

“How could we ever articulate the impact of seeing this tremendous community of music fans from all over the world respond to our call for help? Your beautiful comments are proof of all the good, gracious, generous, and kind people in the world. We are incredibly touched by your generosity, especially at a time when there are so many people and organizations in need.”

Amoeba’s management announced in early February that the Hollywood store, which was opened in 2001, would be relocated sometime in the fall to 6200 Hollywood Blvd. The store is being forced out of its location at 6255 Sunset Blvd. to make way for a planned housing development.

The new store is two blocks east and two blocks north of the former location. It will be slightly smaller, but management plans to offer everything the former store offered, including in-store concerts.   The GoFundMe page can be accessed at https://www.gofundme.com/f/amoeba-music-needs-help-to-survive?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet.

Staff and Wire Reports