Amoeba Music have announced that they will not be returning to their famous Sunset Boulevard store in Hollywood when the coronavirus pandemic ends.
The independent record store chain had been operating three stores across California — in Berkeley, San Francisco and Hollywood — before the state-wide lockdown was imposed on March 19 in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Amoeba had been planning to move their Hollywood store from their renowned presence on Sunset Boulevard (where they opened back in 2001) after the building it is housed in was sold in 2015. However, they had not planned on closing their doors so suddenly.
In a lengthy statement posted on their website, Amoeba explained that “the massive impact from the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the closure of our iconic Hollywood location at 6400 Sunset Blvd”.
“With no reasonably foreseeable opportunity to re-open in our current location, we are instead focusing on hopefully opening in the fall in our previously announced new home at 6200 Hollywood Blvd,” the statement added. “This situation has been forced on all of us, and we feel this decision is the most responsible and practical one.”
It is with a very heavy heart that we must announce that the massive impact from COVID-19 has forced Amoeba Hollywood to remain closed until we move to our new location this fall.
We are devastated. We know you are too.
— Amoeba Music (@amoebamusic) April 27, 2020
Amoeba said the decision to close their Sunset Boulevard store had been “heartbreaking for us”.
“We never envisioned not being able to give the store the send-off it deserves, to give you all a chance to say goodbye. We had so many events planned to celebrate our history at 6400 Sunset! But we are facing too many mitigating circumstances that simply won’t allow for it.”
As the statement confirms, Amoeba is now focusing on its big move to 6200 Hollywood Blvd, which they hope to complete by the autumn. “The only way we can keep Amoeba Hollywood alive in the long run is to make this difficult decision now,” the company added.
Amoeba is still accepting online orders, while a GoFundMe has already raised over $218,000 (£175,592) in a bid to help secure the future of Amoeba Music. Among those to donate to the cause has been comedian Chris Rock, who donated $5000 (via Variety).