Um, Ever Hear of Plan 9?

The RTD today devotes nearly half its editorial space to commenting on the demise of the Tower Records chain and the imminent closing of its branch in the Willow Lawn shopping center on Broad Street. (In case you haven’t been by there lately, they’re in the midst of a going-out-of-business sale with everything 10-30% off.)

The RTD editorialists seem particularly disturbed that this means there’s no longer a great place to buy classical music in the Richmond area. Fair enough I suppose, though (as the editorial acknowledges), this is surely largely down to the growth of Internet retailers who can send classical connoisseurs any recording they want within days. (Other sites offer instant downloads of recordings, and there are also free online classical radio stations.)

But the RTD leaps to an illegitimate conclusion when it writes, “Once upon a time Tower and other record stores served as community centers and gathering spots . . . . No more.”

Um, ever hear of Plan 9 Music? The locally-based retailer’s Cary Street store serves exactly that purpose. There’s an extensive collection of rock and other contemporary music, rock videos, music magazines from around the world, posters, and most of the other accessories you could find in a Tower. Plus, there’s a strong emphasis on promoting local musicians and concerts, and periodically concerts are actually held in the store.

Beyond all that, the store is a hang-out spot and something of a community center, with its checkout desk doubling as a billboard for upcoming local events. Without question, Plan 9 is a key Carytown landmark for anyone between 14 and 35. Maybe the RTD editorialists might check it out sometime (though it has to be admitted that the store’s a little weak on classical).

The truth is, big chain record stores located in strip malls were only ever going to serve as meaningful community spaces incidentally. Plan 9, located in the city’s signature district for the locally-owned and the original, does it by design.

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Published in: on October 19, 2006 at 1:28 pm  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I have not lived in Richmond for some time, but I imagine this means that the “Peaches” stores are no longer in business?

  2. see Tripp’s comment below

  3. Wow…

    No offense to “thadw” above – but that just goes to show you how terrible and out of touch with reality CitySearch really is.

    Peaches has been out of business for a LONG time. That said, you still may be able to visit the location and pick up some used records and CDs – as the building now serves as the home to Goodwill.

  4. thanks Tripp

  5. Ap-cray.

    Thanks for the skinny.

    I hate when things chagne…Next thing you are going to tell me is that Satterwaites (sp?) out in Short Pump is also gone.


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