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The doors to Amoeba Music’s iconic Sunset Boulevard location have permanently closed ahead of schedule due to the coronavirus pandemic.
On Monday, Amoeba announced that the famed Los Angeles retail outlet would not be reopening at its original location, where it has sat since 2001. All efforts will now be focused on opening the store at its new space on Hollywood Boulevard, where it is slated to open in the fall.
“This is heartbreaking for us,” reads a statement posted to the Amoeba website. “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.”
The statement notes that because music stores aren’t considered “essential” businesses by the state of California, it most likely wouldn’t be able to open even if “safer at home” restrictions are eased this summer. Even if it were given the go-ahead, the statement continues, reopening would place staff and customers of the store, which sees over a million visitors a year, at risk of contracting the virus.
Along with its sister locations in San Francisco and Berkeley, Amoeba Music Hollywood shuttered in mid-March following the implementation of statewide “stay at home” mandates by California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Earlier this month, the company launched a GoFundMe campaign to help cover the costs of rent and other bills, along with health care coverage to furloughed staff members, that has so far raised more than $216,000 toward a $400,000 goal.
“With our energy focused on the new store…we will have more time and resources available to manage this move and get the new Amoeba ready for prime time before our initial projections, and hopefully in line with a return to some degree of ‘normalcy’ within our community,” the statement continues. “We will also return our focus over the summer to getting Amoeba.com updated with more used and collectible pieces to serve as a bridge to the new store opening.”
Amoeba had already planned to shutter its Sunset Boulevard location permanently this fall after developer GPI, which bought the building for $34 million in 2015, announced it would be moving forward with its plans to erect a 26-story mixed-use complex on the site. The new Hollywood Boulevard location is just two blocks east and two blocks north, directly next door to the Fonda Theatre.
“There are so many unknowns and uncertainties for a business like ours,” the statement continues. “The only thing we do know for certain is that we want to survive. We want to be there for our amazing customers and our incredible staff long after this pandemic disappears. The only way we can keep Amoeba Hollywood alive in the long run is to make this difficult decision now.”
This story first appeared on Billboard.com.
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