There Never Has and There Probably Never Will Be Another Music Store Palace like Record Theatre, on either side of the Niagara River
A Brief One from Doug Draper, Niagara At Large
Posted August 30th, 2022
If you love record stores like I do, you may remember one of the greatest ones ever in this region of the world- Record Theatre in Buffalo, New York.
I can’t let the fifth anniversary of its closing – in the final days of August, 1917 – go by without a brief mention.
Record Theatre’s flagship store (because there were a number of satellites) opened to much fanfare at the corner of Buffalo’s Main Street and Lafayette Avenue, back in the days when there were mega artists like Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles, and the sale of vinyl records surpassed just about anything else on the planet.
But when the store’s faithful owner and founder Leonard Silver died in early 2017, at a time when brick-and-mortar record and book stores had lost so much ground to the soulless business of downloading and purchasing music and books online, you knew right away that Record Theatre’s days were numbered.
And they were.
Within a matter of weeks, those who took over announced the closing, much to the broken hearts of Record Theatre’s staff who loved working there for the sake of the music it offered as much as customers like me loved walking in the doors.
I remember during the last days, walking by one of the individuals who had, in one way or another, taken possession of Leonard Silver’s great store and hearing them say words to the effect of; “We’ll let them (meaning the store’s customers) enjoy it while they can because there will never be a giant record palace like this again.”
Unfortunately, five years on, the person who said that is right.
There are some nice new record stores, founded by some of Record Theatre’s old staffers, like Hi Fi Hits and Cool Beat Music in the Buffalo area.
But a Titanic of a store like Record Theatre. That is nothing more than a fond memory.
Doug Draper, Niagara At Large
Here is a YouTube from a Buffalo, New York television news program featuring yours truly and others on the day Record Theatre closed. You can watch it by clicking on the screen below –
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