When it comes to record stores, I am like a kid in a candy shop. I love just to browse the aisles and see what gems I can stumble on, and for me, Amoeba is the perfect place to do this. Amoeba Records has been able to do what many stores have tried unsuccessfully to do in the past, turn themselves into a Hollywood landmark. This is especially surprising since this is the third Amoeba Music, behind the San Fransisco and Berkeley store and has only been in existence since 2001. Since then, it has gathered one of the largest collections of music, DVDs, and records in the entire world and has had huge musicians such as Paul McCartney stop by for surprise shows. Amoeba is genuinely a Hollywood Experience.
- One hour of free parking in the underground lot
- This store is supposedly moving and shutting down in 2020 to make way for apartment buildings.
- I last visited here in 2019
- Read about all of my favorite Hollywood spots here
Founded by former employees of nearby Rasputin Records, Amoeba Music opened its first store on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley in 1990. Then in 1997, they expanded to the San Fransisco store in the Haight-Ashbury District. The Southern California location was added on November 17, 2001, when the store opened a new branch on Sunset Boulevard (at Cahuenga Boulevard) in Hollywood. At the time of its opening, the store planned to stock as many as 250,000 titles, which would place the store among the largest independent music stores in the world.
Clearly the reason to go to Amoeba records is the music. Their selection of records and CDs is second to none. Their music is broken into different styles throughout the store, and they have at least 15 full aisles of both new records and dollar classics, where you never know what you will find. When I was there, I picked up classic albums from Steve Martin, Chicago, Kansas, and Steve Miller Band all for a dollar each. You can spend hours in this area alone. There is also a Jazz section that is huge and sections dedicated to rap, rock, and world music, just to name a few.
Upstairs, Amoeba features a considerable section of used and new DVDs and Blu Rays. This section gets more and more popular every time I am there, and they have a lot of memorabilia such as posters and other goodies that you would expect to see in the Hollywood location.
One of the things many people don’t realize when they go there is that almost all of the posters on the wall can be purchased as well. These feature unique movie posters, band posters from shows years in the past, and even a section of rare records from huge bands like the Beatles and Elvis. You really never know what you will find.
Atmosphere and Parking
Another huge plus for Amoeba is the fact that they offer free one-hour parking right under their store. If you have spent much time in Hollywood, then you know how rare this is. It can get packed on the weekend, but almost every time I go, there is a spot open. Parking down here allows you to see the unique elevator they have that is completely covered in graffiti or walk the stairs, which are littered with stickers of bands, posters, and other memorabilia. Creating an atmosphere that works well with the record store itself.
If music is a part of your life as much as it is mine, then you owe it to yourself to spend some time in Amoeba Music. It is a great store that will help you lose track of time as you revel in the music of the past. Check it out during your next trip to Hollywood.