A Photo Survey of Abandoned Record Shops

We recently explored a photo survey of video stores that have faded to black since the digital marketplace takeover, which got us thinking about other ephemeral media. Just a few weeks ago it was reported that Times Square record haven Colony Music — founded in 1948, and with an inventory of more than one million LPs — would be closing its doors. Colony is one of many large chain music stores and indie record shops that have called it quits since the rise of high def formats, web retailers, and the popularity of digital downloading. It’s a phenomenon that’s being explored in documentaries like Last Shop Standing — about the rise, fall, and rebirth of indie record shops in the UK — which hits DVD today. (The filmmakers are encouraging audiences to purchase the movie locally.)

If you grew up ritualistically hunting for vinyl or cassettes and relied on knowledgeable record store employees for recommendations à la High Fidelity, you’ve definitely been feeling the pangs of loss as these stores quickly collapse around us. Click through our gallery of abandoned record shops — including several landmark stores — to remember the fine art of crate digging and the passionate music communities that made them awesome.

Sam the Record Man — Toronto, Canada

Image credit: Ro b