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Rhino Records sets temporary return

Iconic music retailer opens 'pop-up' store for charity

Rhino Records, one of L.A.’s iconic music retail locations, will be resurrected May 17-31 near its original Westwood Boulevard location as a temporary “pop-up” store to benefit a local charity.

Founded in 1973, the Rhino store was a funky, fun-loving nexus for hipsters and collectors. It moved to a larger location on Westwood and diversified into the collectibles market before closing its doors in January 2006.

Outlet’s namesake label, a high-profile imprint for licensed compilations, was acquired by Warner Music Group in the late ’90s. As Rhino Entertainment, it serves as WMG’s catalog division today.

Store founder Richard Foos, now chief executive officer at catalog label Shout! Factory, is reopening Rhino at 1740 Westwood Blvd., three doors down from its original location at 1720 Westwood. One of the store’s former managers, Sam Epstein, will oversee the temporary outlet.

Several special events, including an old-timers day, are planned. Foos said singer-songwriter Emitt Rhodes’ ’60s band the Merry-Go-Round will reunite for an in-store performance.

It should be like the old Rhino,” Foos said. “We’re bringing back the spirit of the old store.”

Proceeds from the pop-up shop will be donated to Chrysalis Enterprises, a local non-profit that provides employment for the homeless and economically disadvantaged, street maintenance and recycling services.

Foos is moving to New York and will continue to head Shout! Factory on a bi-coastal basis, with partners Bob Emmer and brother Garson Foos running the L.A. office. He is contributing his own collection to the Rhino shop, and is seeking merchandise from labels and private citizens. Shout! Factory and the Rhino label have already donated product.

“We’ve got about 30,000 pieces so far, and we’re looking for 100,000,” he said.

This will not be the first time the Rhino brand has been revived at retail: During the 2007 holiday season, WMG opened a pop-up location on Third Street in L.A., selling Rhino product only.

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