The flashy red and yellow facade of the Sunset Boulevard’s old Tower Records is back, briefly, as part of celebration of a documentary about the iconic record store.
The documentary is Colin Hanks’ “All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower records” (see the trailer above). It chronicles the rise and fall of Tower Records, whose cassette tapes, CD and records have become obsolete in this digital era.
The Tower Records building at Sunset Boulevard and Horn in West Hollywood opened in 1971 as the Sacramento-based chain’s first Southern California location. It soon became its most famous, known as the place where Elton John and Elvis Costello and Smokey Robinson could be found shopping for records. The “Guinness Book of World Records” in 1974 listed the 8,700-square-foot space as the largest record store in the world.
In 2006, the Tower chain declared bankruptcy and the Tower Sunset location closed. The clothing and gift store, Live! on Sunset, operated out of the building for five years after that, closing in November 2012. A campaign to have the building declared an historic landmark failed to win the West Hollywood City Council’s approval in 2013.
Today the building is leased by Gibson, the guitar manufacturer, which intends to sell guitars and other products there. Gibson is restoring the facade for a celebration tomorrow of the opening of “All Things Must Pass” on Friday at the Arclight Hollywood.