Where to find old music recordings in Beirut, Lebanon?
August 5, 2013 2:33 AM   Subscribe

I'm in Beirut, looking for some specific old recordings (1910s through 1950s). Does anyone know of a record shop or other location to look for old vinyl (Baidaphon, Arabphon, Maloof, etc...)?
posted by onthegreyriver to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Have you tried the Sunday Market [سوق الأحد: souk el ahad] It runs every Saturday-Sunday under the bridge at Jisr il Wati [just before Sin el Fil] - hop into any service or cab and tell them Souk el Ahad. You'll definitely find old vinyl - I've even spotted a number of gramophones there - but no idea if they'll be in playable condition.

There used to be a couple of tiny shops in the Hamra neighbourhood, I'm not sure if they're still around but it could be worth looking there if you're in the area [go during the day as I doubt they have signage and would definitely be closed by the evening].

The first is close to the American University of Beirut, on Makhoul Street which is parallel to the university's Bliss Street. Go up from the main gate and take your first right [there's a Lavazza cafe on that corner now - but if you need to ask for directions most people know it by the previous occupants: Flying Pizza]. Keep walking till the end of that street, it's just a single block, and keep your eyes peeled - it used to be a tiny music shop on the left hand side.

Another one used to be close to the Commodore Hotel, also in Hamra. Although I've passed by recently and haven't noticed it so it might have shut down. It's a couple of minutes walk so might be worth checking out though. Just walk from the Commodore in the same direction as the traffic - should be in one of the first couple of blocks.

There's a DJ School/record shop on Leon Street [also in Hamra] called Per Vurt. I'm sure they don't have the types of records your looking for, but it would probably be worth asking if they know any old record dealers.

Finally if you've got the time/patience for it there's a good chance you'd find something like that in the Armenian quarter of Bourj Hammoud. It's full of eclectic little shops like that - although be prepared to spend the day lost in the tiny streets looking around.

Good luck, I got my mitts on the family's old record collection a few years ago - well worth spending a few afternoons running around to find some of these treasures.
posted by xqwzts at 3:27 AM on August 5, 2013 [2 favorites]

Oh you might also get lucky at the Bargain Box. It's a charity shop located in the Children's Cancer Center on Bliss Street. Salvation Army kind of thing with donated stuff being sold to raise money for the Hospital. They do get donated LPs from time to time.
posted by xqwzts at 3:38 AM on August 5, 2013

I know you want to own the actual acetate, but failing that,
this guy has a good collection which he has made into MP3s and shared,
maybe you will find what you are you looking for in there.
posted by Abinadab at 7:53 AM on August 5, 2013

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