Amoeba Music is a California-based independent music shop business with stores in Berkeley, San Francisco, and Hollywood. It was formed in Berkeley, California, in 1990 and is still doing strong, despite the fall in CD sales in the 2000s.
Amoeba Music, which started on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley in 1990, was formed by former workers of adjacent Rasputin Records. Marc Weinstein, Dave Prinz, Yvonne Prinz, and Kent Randolph are just a few of the cofounders. Shepherd Hendrix, a comic book artist, created the distinctive Amoeba logo.
On November 15, 1997, the second site in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighbourhood, near Golden Gate Park, opened. It was housed in the former Park Bowl bowling alley, which had 24,000 square feet (2,200 square metres). It typically stocks over 100,000 new and then used CDs, vinyl records, as well as audio cassettes.
The Sunset Boulevard (at Cahuenga Boulevard) facility in Hollywood first opened on November 17, 2001. The store aimed to stock quite so many as 250,000 titles at the time of its debut, making it one of the world’s largest independent music stores.
Thus according to Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times, the area “immediately became a Hollywood landmark.”
The Sunset Boulevard building was sold to such a holding firm in 2015, although Amoeba continues to lease the facility. The owners indicated in 2018 that such property will be demolished and replaced with a modern glass-and-steel tower with residential apartments and commercial space and that Amoeba would relocate. Amoeba stated on April 27, 2020, that perhaps the Sunset Boulevard facility will be shutting permanently ahead of schedule owing to the COVID-19 epidemic, but that it would be moving to a new site on Hollywood Boulevard.
On April 1, 2021, the new site opened.
Robert Leaver, the co-founder of the Round World Music record shop and label in San Francisco, was in charge of Amoeba’s world music area. He also worked at Amoeba’s Berkeley office as an international record buyer.
The stores also sell movies, but only as a sideline to their music operation. Each store features a limited selection of DVDs, VHS, Laserdisc, and Blu-ray movies. Additionally, each location sells a variety of music-related posters as well as artwork, as well as Amoeba-branded products.
At its original site in Hollywood, a whole second level was dedicated to DVD and Blu-ray. In addition, Amoeba Music routinely hosts free events featuring local and national performers from a range of genres throughout store hours.
Amoeba has weathered the downturn in CD sales since the early 2000s with its trade-in programme and the arrival of the vinyl resurgence, primarily through reselling old products. Many non-essential shops were advised to close to avoid the spread of COVID-19, in addition to the statewide stay-at-home order issued by California governor Gavin Newsom in the COVID-19 pandemic.