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Amoeba Music in Hollywood sets to relocate as city plans move forward

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After years of being in limbo, Amoeba Music, an iconic Hollywood record store, is leaving its current space for a slightly smaller one nearby.

In 2015, Amoeba Hollywood sold their property for a reported $34 million to a holding company associated with GPI Companies. The store was able to lease the location back for a couple of years, but ultimately the company plans to replace the record store with a residential apartment building over 20 stories high.

Buzz of this news filtered all throughout the internet, and long-time fans of Amoeba feared this could be the end. But in 2017, Amoeba put rumors to rest with a Facebook post ensuring that the store will not leave L.A., but is “now in a position where [Amoeba] may have to change locations in the coming years.”

On March 14, 2019, the Los Angeles City Planning Commission voted to reject an appeal to halt the project, moving  forward plans for the store’s relocation.

Luckily for music fans, Amoeba won’t leave Hollywood. In fact, the branch hopes to only have to move a block or so away. And, following Amoeba Berkeley, the new Hollywood location will seek permits to open a small-business marijuana dispensary.

Still, this move is a big deal for local music lovers, since so much of a record store’s appeal comes from the space itself. It’s not uncommon for people to head to Amoeba and spend hours in the store, browsing records alongside others equally as passionate about music.

Julia Hilbert, a freshman film and television production major, especially loved exploring Amoeba. “I left with so much new music,” she told me. “The store has such a diverse selection of music and an overall lovely vibe.”

Amoeba Music is the world’s largest independent record store with locations in Berkeley, San Francisco and Hollywood. 

Since opening its doors in the ‘90s, Amoeba has served as a paradise for music lovers ready to shop for vinyl records, CDs, DVDs, books and other music and pop culture merchandise.

Amoeba also hosts free live performances and record release parties. The store even holds local concert ticket giveaways on their Twitter account.

Amoeba Music’s Hollywood location opened its doors in 2001. Stretching an entire city block on Sunset Boulevard, Amoeba Hollywood is the largest independent music store in the world. 

As a big fan of both Amoeba and historic architecture, I’m sad to see the location go. 

From the glowing neon Amoeba Music sign on the storefront to the giant mural on the side of the building to their massive corner location on Sunset Boulevard,  this nearly 20-year-old building captures the essence of Hollywood architecture.

However, I’m confident that Amoeba is aware of the importance of their space, and that the new location won’t disappoint. As best put by their Facebook post, “Amoeba is defined by WHO we are not WHERE we are.” 

So, if you don’t get the chance to say goodbye to this old location, know that the Amoeba community will surely live on.

This is the opinion of Emma Averill, a freshman civil engineering major from Porter Ranch, CA. Tweet comments to @LALoyolan or email comments to aboulas@theloyolan.com.

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