Show Empire Records to anybody born in the post-9/11 era (I think we're calling them Generation Z) and they might think you're showing them some type of surreal period-piece drama. Record stores, sadly, aren't as enormous nor as important to music fans as they once were. They're like boutique shops for the serious fan and the environment of eccentric characters shown in classic movies like High Fidelity or Empire Records is unfamiliar territory.
But for Granada Theater owner Mike Schoder, such record stores play an important role in his history, as he got his start in the music business selling records. So in honor of Empire Records' 20th anniversary, the Granada is screening the movie and marking the occasion with a one-off pop-up record shop.
Schoder, who reopened the Granada as a music venue back in 2004, once sold CDs from the trunk of his car. He'd buy them from pawn shops, sell them for twice as much, and sometimes sell hundreds in a day. The small-time record-schilling would soon evolve into owning a legit record store in the aughts called CD World. That store eventually shuttered because, as one Yelp reviewer succinctly puts it, "Video may have killed the radio star, but The Internets killed CD World."
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Yet, nostalgia brings it back, at least for a night. According to Chris McDonald, the Granada's marketing director, the lobby of the theater will get a makeover to become a pop-up record store. They'll sell vintage screen-printed concert posters and used CDs. The old CD World sign will be there too, lit up in all its past glory.
The pop-up store will open tonight at 6 p.m., followed by the screening of the film at 7. Tickets are just $3 and can be purchased at granadatheater.com. There will be an after-party next door at Sundown with a Clinton Years tribute to '90s R&B and a DJ set by WHO CARES.
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