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Atlanta Record Store Owner Says Vinyl Records Are Here To Stay

ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) -- Record stores have come and gone over the years, but one Atlanta shop is still going strong after three decades. Eric Levin, the owner of Criminal Records, shares why vinyl records are making a come back.

Criminal Records is nestled in an Atlanta melting pot called Little Five Points, a popular hang out and shopping spot that draws a lot of foot traffic, and because of the record store, crowds of people buying vinyl records. "My son, he has a record player and he's into all of this, so he brought us in here," said Keyshia Porter, a customer shopping for records. The store recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. "I saw that it was the 30th anniversary on TikTok, so I decided to come in and see what they have," said Matheo Brooks, another customer. "I certainly never thought there'd be a 30th, but I didn't know if there'd be a first year anniversary," said Levin.

Levin remembers when it all started. "I was a kid growing up in a record store. I was about 13 when I started not leaving the record store," he said. He worked in one while in high school and started his own business at 19. They sold CDs and comic books. "Vinyl was always part of our mix, and toys and rock poster art and DVDs when they arrived."

They followed the trends, and now, lots of customers are picking up the vinyl again. "Vinyl is incredibly tangible, and ironically, a very environmentally friendly item, because you purchase it once, it lasts for a generation or more," said Levin. He sells both new and used records. "Vinyl is now being produced in massive numbers, and people want them," he said, explaining how a vinyl record has a long shelf life, you can resell it, and doesn't take much energy to grab and one and play it. "That's compared to say, streaming, where that is kind of an environmental disaster with wind farms moving at all points to draw the energy to store the media," Levin said.

Customers sell their old vinyl at the store as well. "They're antiques. They're always gonna be around," Levin said. He says he's glad to still have a place for record lovers to get their vinyl fix.

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