CLAREMONT, CA (CelebrityAccess) – Rhino Records, a beloved Village record store since 1974, is closing its doors and relocating due to rising rent prices within the Village. Its in-house video rental store, Video Paradiso, is also moving. Both will be in a Montclair location by July 1st, the exact location TBA.
Rhino’s closing follows on the heels of the Candlelight Pavilion’s final performance in March and the upcoming shuttering of the Laemmle 5 movie theater. According to the Claremont-Courier, live music venue, Hip Kitty closed in 2015, leaving The Press as the only live music venue in the area. Due to COVID-19, The Press now sits abandoned with paper over its windows, unclear if it will ever open its doors again.
Taylor Kingsbury, a 20-year employee of Rhino Records who also serves as one of the store managers, told the Claremont-Courier:
“I will always love this city because I have so many memories here, but for people who are just discovering Claremont, I don’t know what reason there really is to come when all there is to do is eat at a restaurant,” he said. “If all the interesting places and the landmarks are gone … you can only eat at so many places. I think you’re losing a lot when you lose the artistic side of things, having the musicians play in the park and on the streets, and things like that, which is something we’ve always had here and you really don’t see much anymore.”
Rhino’s original location was 271 West Second Street. It moved to 225 North Yale Avenue a couple of years later, finally landing at its current home – 235 North Yale. Claremont, CA, a city with nationally renowned colleges and an “I’m cooler than you” cultural vibe, will make you believe you’re standing in an East Coast college village.
Like owners of most indie record stores, Rhino Records was started by those with an innate love and passion for music. Over the years, Rhino has seen many performances on its tiny stage by bands including Berlin, Amps for Christ, Endless Bummer, and rock legends Nirvana.