Amoeba Music announced this week that the iconic store would relocate to Hollywood and Argyle. “We want to add to our new neighborhood and will be catering to local tastes by showcasing local artists,” said Amoeba manager Karen Duffy in an exclusive interview with the Avocado.
First off, congratulations on the new move. Can you tell us about the new space and location?
The new Amoeba will be on the corner of Hollywood and Argyle across from the Pantages Theater. It’s equidistant from the Hollywood and Vine metro stop and a homeless encampment plagued with violence and feces.
Amoeba is a haven for music lovers. What are you doing to attract longtime customers to the new location?
First and foremost we are going to offer the same wide selection of CDs and vinyl we offered at our old location. But Amoeba is more than a record store, it’s a place for local music lovers to connect and we see it as our responsibility to offer a safe space where our customers can come and openly scoff at the music selections and preferences of our other customers.
The new space will be mixed-use and share the building with a complex of condominiums. Can you tell us how you envision the relationship with the tenants?
How cool would it be to live at Amoeba records? I am so jealous and honestly wish I held on to more of my Blank Check money so I could afford one of the units. Anyway, I think the store’s relationship with residents will be–
I’m sorry. What do you mean by “Blank Check money”? Like the movie from the 90’s Blank Check?”
Oh wow, that’s so cool. I loved that movie as a kid.
Yeah, it was a good one.
So, you said that you wish you saved more money, are things okay?
Oh yeah, I didn’t mean to imply I’ve fallen on hard times or anything. It’s just the units above the store are going to be really fucking expensive.
Ah, got it. So, do you think a record store can survive in an age of digital streaming?
Sure, it’s just about offering service and adapting to a changing marketplace. For instance, sure our new store will have CDs and vinyl records for sale, but also a large selection of Funko bobbleheads and an on-premise sales agent who can show off the units in the attached residential complex. I mean, how cool would it be to say that you own a rental unit above a record store managed by Karen Duffy from Blank Check?
But the rent you have to pay for this new building must be remarkably high for the area. Is it possible to sustain yourself on bobbleheads with today’s customer’s diminishing demand for physical music?
Probably for a while! I don’t know, maybe once all of the units are sold and our lease is up we get converted into a Whole Foods. What do you want me to say? Just fucking enjoy the fact that Amoeba is still here while it lasts.
It’s sort of like in the movie Blank Check, 13-year-old Preston Waters is given a blank check after being hit in his car by mobsters and told to fill out the price of a new bike. But instead, he writes A MILLION DOLLARS and gets to buy a big house and fun toys and gets to kiss a full-grown adult woman at a time in cinematic history when the implications were not so problematic. But Preston was never going to be able to keep the money and the moral of the story is to appreciate the amazing things you have while you have it. Amoeba won’t last forever. It can’t. But it’s here now, so just try to enjoy it and don’t be so cynical.
That’s beautiful, Karen Duffy. Thank you so much for your time and for acting in the movie Blank Check.
You’re welcome. And remember, when we open at the new store in the Fall we will be offering 75-minutes of parking validation with an in-store purchase and will have onsite security to protect customers and residents from the truly terrible homelessness problem we are having in Hollywood that no one seems to know what to do about it.