Rhythm House to fade into history next month

Rhythm House to fade into history next month

For close to 68 years, the iconic Rhythm House has been a happening place! Celebrities have rubbed shoulders with commoners here - as they visited the music shop - but now whosoever is visiting this place, couple of questions are common - “when is the last day?” and “when are you closing down?” And once the reply comes, pat comes another question - “what is coming up here?”

Well the place, which opened in the 40s, would close operations in February 2016. As they wind up and sell the last remaining stock - the discounts are fabulous - right from 10 per cent to 70 per cent. In fact, music lovers are coming in large numbers to visit the place “one last time” or “fresh.” 

“We are going to be here till the end of February,” said Mehmood Curmally, the owner of Rhythm House. “We know it is a sad decision, but we are helpless, we have to close down the operations because of various reasons, including obviously financial and economics in the current day world,” he said.

“Time has come for us to bid goodbye to the music and video business for reasons that need no elaboration. We are the last of our city’s large format music and video stores to yield to the challenges posed by new technologies and piracy,” Curmally elaborates, adding, “We have been in the music business since 1948 and in the video business over the past 30 years or so and closing down is therefore going to be an emotional wrench for us.”

“Its a happening place, I have been coming here for 30 years, it is a great place. Once you visit there, you are into a different world...the care that they took of its customers is unique,” said Ajit Joshi, a music lover, who visits the shop on a regular basis.

What is coming up here, is a matter of suspense. While the owners say that they would close in February, the back-office will continue for “several months thereafter”-should people need help like encashing of gift vouchers.

An employee, when asked about it, said: “The owners of the music shop also owns the property...while we have been told that it is closing down in February, they have not told us what they are going to do with the property...whether hotel or bar would come up or fashion store would come up....we have started looking for jobs.” Starting with vending 78 rpm lacquered discs, L P vinyl discs, cassettes and the compact discs to the new generation devices like VCDs, DVDs and more recently the Bluray disc, in both Indian and Western music, across a wide range of genres, the place is a hit.

Musicians like late Pt Ravi Shankar, Ustad Zakir Hussain, Shammi Kapoor to maestro A R Rehman and several others visited this music shop, which has a special page in the history of Mumbai.  The Rhythm House along the Rampart Row is located in Kala Ghoda, which is often referred to as the art district of Mumbai. Several iconic heritage buildings and places like the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Jehangir Art Gallery, Max Mueller Bhavan,  and National Gallery of Modern Art are located here.

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