PHOTOS: Tower Records Site Through the Years

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For 36 years, Tower Records was among the many music landmarks along the Sunset Strip. But did you know, 8801 Sunset Boulevard has a long, and storied history before Tower Records, including the site of where Earl “Madman” Muntz sold the very first car stereos?

The site also was once home to a drive-in restaurant and showcase apartment for Shoreham Towers.

In the next few pages, take a look at photos spanning much of the site’s history.

Click below to see the site as Dolores Restaurant.

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Brad Bunnin
Brad Bunnin
5 months ago

My dad worked at the Muntz store on Sunset. We were a Chicago car family (Chrysler Plymouth on Ogden Avenue) until we moved to L.A. in 1950. Earl Muntz was a good guy to work for, because he was seldom in the store.The cars were . . . unusual. Maybe that’s why they didn’t sell well. My family ultimately became Chevrolet dealers in Culver City.

Gary Helsinger
Gary Helsinger
1 year ago

Your photo of the Madman Muntz store is not the one that was at the location at 8801 Sunset. I worked at Tower in 1987. Here’s my post on our FB group with Ed Ruscha’s photos of the Muntz building https://www.facebook.com/groups/10164619257/permalink/10159174145049258/ You can find pics of every single building on the entire strip from 1966-2007 online detailing Ed Rusha’s 12 Sunsets project. https://12sunsets.getty.edu/map/1985?d=0.42256 The Muntz building was originally built as a free standing model of one apt unit in the Shorehman Apt being built a half block up on Horn Ave. Muntz took over that building and used the original… Read more »

georgevreelandhill2010

It was THE place for the music scene in Los Angeles.

George Vreeland Hill

joe cholik
joe cholik
1 year ago

When I was there, 60s…it was Wallack’s Music City(Sunset and Vine) that was the center of the music world in LA

shoreham-6
shoreham-6
8 years ago

The presence of a 2000s-era Lexus in the Muntz shot makes it obvious that’s not the site in the 1960s. Your photo is of the Muntz facility in Ventura, CA (at 2834 E Main St).

Former Staff
8 years ago
Reply to  shoreham-6

The photo caption does not say that it was taken in the 1960s.

Don C
Don C
9 years ago

As permanent as anything else in L.A.

Matto
9 years ago

Wow…I remember standing in line for hours to meet Oingo Boingo at their final meet-n-greet there. Drove all the way from Bakersfield.

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