Remembering Our Region’s Greatest Record Store – Five Years On

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.

The grand old record store, looking so lonely, after its August, 2017 close. File photo, Doug Draper

I can’t let the fifth anniversary of its closing – in the final days of August, 1917 – go by without a brief mention.

A look at the cavernous store, inside

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.

Record Store staffers Nikki and Joe check out customers, minutes before the store closed for the last time. It was a sad day for staff and customers alike.File photo by Doug Draper

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 –

NIAGARA AT LARGE Encourages You To Join The Conversation By Sharing Your Views On This Post In The Space Following The Bernie Sanders Quote Below.

“A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders


One response to “Remembering Our Region’s Greatest Record Store – Five Years On

  1. For readers looking for a new great record store, Dead Dog Records in Toronto is owned by St Catharines native Gill Brook and her husband Stephen Yorke. Steve had a life long career with Sunrise Records and with some colleagues Dead Dog Records was born.
    Dead Dog Records now has 3 locations:
    1209 Bloor St. W
    586 Church St. and a new location
    Queen St (north side between Beverly and John).


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