Amoeba Music Celebrates 20 Years In The Haight

This weekend, Amoeba Music (1855 Haight St.) is celebrating the store's twentieth year in business. The Upper Haight music emporium was an expansion from the store's Berkeley outpost, which dates back to 1990. Since then, Amoeba has spread to Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.

The festivities will include performances by Ibeyi (Friday, 5pm) and a lineup of DJs Saturday afternoon capping off with a performance by Blue Bone Express and a performance by drag entertainer Nicki Jizz.

Other festivities on Saturday include a photo booth, grab bag prizes for the first 100 people in the store, flash sales and giveaway prizes on the hour from noon to 4pm.

We checked in with manager Tony Green about where Amoeba's been, and where it's going.

Although "the Haight is actually different in some respects," Green said, "the changes in the music industry have had more of an effect on us than the neighborhood."

Despite an industry in turmoil, Green said trade-ins—and a resurgence in vinyl record sales—have improved the bottom line. "We've always had a bit of a safety net that the extra margin in used product has given us, and that's kept us alive while Tower, Virgin, etc. have fallen by the wayside."

That said, he also emphasized Amoeba's willingness to adapt.

"The focus has shifted from CD [back] to LP," he said. "We are constantly adjusting and featuring different accessories, turntables, books, etc. to keep it diverse and interesting for all our shoppers."

And despite some moderate gentrification along Haight Street's retail corridor, Green said the district is "still a magnet for a hip and bohemian crowd" that appreciates music.

"[Amoeba] is the greatest community of music lovers I've ever been part of," said Green.


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Amoeba music celebrates 20 years in the haight