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Looney Tunes record store is moving to Allston

Posted by Katie McLeod  April 26, 2012 05:35 PM

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The Back Bay record store Looney Tunes, a fixture for more than three decades, will move from its 1106 Boylston St. spot to a new location at 16 Harvard Ave. in Allston, where it will join together with funky retro-vintage shop Store 54.

Moving a quarter of a million records will be “a piece of cake,” said the store’s owner, Pat McGrath. The move will take place at a yet-to-be-determined date.

“The fabric of a neighborhood changes,” said McGrath, explaining the move. “And with that, the rent can change, too.”

McGrath has been a part of the store since the day after it opened in 1978 at its original location around the corner on Massachusetts Ave. As a student at Boston University who came to Boston for the record stores and music scene, he said he shopped there often, and started working there after the store’s move to Boylston St., which happened in 1980.

In addition to local record collectors, the surrounding music schools – Berklee College of Music, The New England Conservatory, and The Boston Conservatory – provided a built-in customer base in the neighborhood, which McGrath said he hopes will follow the move to Allston.

“Anyone who shops in a store like this as a regular is hardcore,” he said. “So I’m hoping we’ll see familiar faces.”

The store is currently wholesaling its gargantuan collection of records, tapes, CDs, DVDs, and more. McGrath said the more they are able to sell now, the less they will have to move.
As far as the task of moving goes, he’s trying to look on the bright side.

“All of the record bins in here have been moved at one time or another, except for the jazz bins,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to seeing what 30 years worth of dust looks like. Maybe I’ll find something I’ve lost. Or maybe I’ve just snapped.”

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Sarah Rodman is a staff music critic for the Boston Globe.

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