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 Posted:   Dec 10, 2009 - 5:21 AM   
 By:   Doug Raynes   (Member)


Thats entertainment Drury Lane - Johnny and Patrick and a cup of tea


I was always offered coffee! Of course, it was a great sales tactic because after being offered a drink I always felt obliged to buy something (and they were hardly the cheapest shop!).

I never visited Movie Boulevard's shop but they were a helpful presence (going back 30 years or so - wow, is it that long ago!) at some of the London Collector's Fairs. They were one of the last specialist suppliers to still send out monthly printed catalogues which I always found a huge advantage - it's so much easier to browse through a catalogue than on a computer screen.

It's sad that there are hardly any high street music, video or book stores left. Borders UK split from the American parent body a couple of years ago but now they have gone under, with all their stores closing down - a big loss.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 10, 2009 - 5:50 AM   
 By:   Les Jepson   (Member)

Very sad to hear of this. I received a couple of European soundtracks from them about a month ago. I called around the same time (on a Saturday), but the shop was closed -- slight alarm bells, but there were only a couple of envelopes on the doormat, so I didn't actually think the worst at the time.

Get well soon, Richard, and all the best to you and Rob for the future -- and thanks for hours of good conversation and listening.

All my very best,

Les

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 10, 2009 - 7:28 AM   
 By:   Spymaster   (Member)

They were far more than a 'clip joint', they sold 90% legit material, and they started back in the '70s when EVERYONE was selling boots, because there was no prospect on the horizon of legits, and no-one cared, even the rights holders.

Indeed. People need to remember that 15 years ago there were hardly any "back issue" scores being released, no "expanded" editions, none of that. It was only when pioneering labels like Intrada started releasing long CDs such as Rambo III and Deep Star Six that the market really took off and everybody started seeing the potential in releasing longer albums, and expanding older LP programs.

And then bootlegging became an issue because, potentially, those bootlegs created ill-feeling between labels and studios, and potentially took away from sales, etc.

Some folks backed off from boots. Movie Boulevard and, I guess, Ark Square didn't. But that was their choice.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 10, 2009 - 7:30 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

I drove past this morning - sad to see the doors shut, even though I hadn't been in for some considerable time. When I lived in a different part of the country (and had more cash to spend) I'd make a point of calling in and buying discs - in the pre-internet days, we didn't have parochial foreigners telling us whom we could and couldn't frequent - and got on very well with Richard and Robert. They had another young lad working there, maybe just on Saturdays, can't recall if I ever knew his name.

I bought many Morricones from them over the years, notably the limited edition Red Sonja/Bloodline and also the Witches of Eastwick. Mrs TG spent many hours sitting in the car outside, reading, while I was chatting to them about things that I'd never had the opportunity to talk about face to face with anyone.

Over time, money got shorter as the family grew taller, and because I never went in there without buying stuff, it got so that I just never went in. I'm dreadfully sorry about Richard's daughter, and I hope that they both got away financially clear. Good luck to them both, and shame on any hypocrites who say otherwise.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 10, 2009 - 2:32 PM   
 By:   tarasis   (Member)

Oh dear, sorry to hear of MB's passing. I was just trying to search them out as I couldn't remember their name.

I bought, long ago now, Galaxy Quest (Fly Away Home) from them and was really grateful that I could. Unfortunately as I only got a few of their catalogues and then moved house I kinda forgot about them. However as I am getting back into collecting again I thought I'd see what they had now. Had hoped they might have had Little Giants smile

 
 Posted:   Dec 10, 2009 - 3:18 PM   
 By:   Steve Johnson   (Member)

Nice to know that another Continental Clip Joint BITES THE DUST.


I think especially given what has been said about Richard's plight, that's pretty heartless.

They were far more than a 'clip joint', they sold 90% legit material, and they started back in the '70s when EVERYONE was selling boots, because there was no prospect on the horizon of legits, and no-one cared, even the rights holders.

And their catalogue was staggering, literally thousands of issues, including many CONTINENTAL and 'foreign' releases of European film music. The world doesn't start and stop at Hollywood. Always the 'too much steak in the belly' crow that the world outside the US is some hick-town. Digestion talking.

As regards conflicts with Lukas, I know nothing about that, and I don't think we're likely to hear about that here, since old Luke has a strong sense of decent decorum, and this isn't time or place.


You are quite right. My apologies.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 12, 2009 - 6:34 AM   
 By:   38595A3C222C342825   (Member)

I never had a bad experience at MB, but I was never happy about going there - the "shop" had become dirty and scruffy and the prices were extortionate. They started well, moving from a rented office space to a shop - although on hindsight a poor location, off the beaten track and underneath arches where trains would thunder overhead, shaking the entire shop. They had the laserdisc boom, when the shop was packed on a Saturday afternoon, shifting copies of Aliens, Alien and The Abyss for £125 each, copies of banned movies and director's cuts. Then a key member of staff left the company and the laser disc bubble burst, leaving them with more floor space than they now needed. DVDs became hot property, but that bubble burst too when release dates got closer together for the US and the UK, and all those banned and director's cut movies became readily available over here too. And with Virgin and HMV a five minute walk away, who would pay £24.99 for an import when you could get the exact same DVD on the high street for £4.99. Then one of MB's main sources of income was hit hard - the bootleg score sector. Customers realised they could buy the exact same score - if not superior - from Ebay for a fraction of the cost. Or worse still, customers realised they could down load complete scores, often complete with high quality covers, and knock out their own boots in the time it took for a CDR to burn and the printer to spit out a glossy cover. MP3s also didn't help, with collectors now packing away their beloved CDs and copying everything to a hard drive, playing a vast catalogue of downloaded and copied scores to anywhere in the house.

It wasn't something that happened overnight, trends were gradually changing and MB - like Woolworths - were stuck in the past, having a bull-headed attitude that their superior "business" skills would win the day. The two owners also banked on the fanatical collectors who would pay anything to get what they wanted. As Richard had said to me on several occasions, if you want it so bad, you'll pay for it. This attitude was eventually their downfall when collectors in their droves went elsewhere. They were charging £55 for the latest Star Wars trilogy scores (holographic cover versions), yet my copy cost me £15 on the high street. £24.99 for a crudely made CDR boot, £44.99 for a double disc? Selling second hand scores as brand new? Selling pirate copies of the Varese Sarabande Cd Club scores? No, they were doomed by greed and an attitude that they were better than the customers they served because they ran a business and preferred Barry to Goldsmith. Barry was once referred to as an intellectual who was into art and culture (a reflection of his fans surely) and Goldsmith who related to pop and chewing gum and all things crass. Their demeaner to their customers followed suit, love Barry and slate the action/horror composers and they'd yap to you all day. Of course, when the shop door closed or the phone was hung up, you were just another punter who helped pass the time in a shop with no customers, and cursed for not making an order.

So goodbye and good riddance to another failed business that didn't make the best of the good times and wasn't savvy or intelligent enough to plan for the future when trends changed. You simply don't run a small unstable business like a shop and get yourself a big house and a BMW, alienate your customer base, allow your premises to become dirty and stock to be ruined by damp and condensation, and not keep an eye on the horizon for changes in prices and trends. If they could have put aside their snobby "we've got a shop" attitude, they would have done the several major movie fairs in Birmingam, Glasgow and Milton Keynes, shifting all that crappy old stock and attracting new customers, just like the other memorabilia shops. They should also have had the sense to have an Ebay shop and move into the collectable figures market, selling Sideshow Collectables and getting proper contacts in the movie industry in order to sell genuine props. Not to mention realistic prices for those nasty CDR boots.

BTW, my business is 12 years old, turns over half-a-million a year, and I drive a beat-up old Focus. My customers are my boss and they tell me what they need, not the other way around.



 
 Posted:   Dec 12, 2009 - 8:22 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

To Steve Johnson ... I realise you probably hadn't seen the stuff about Richard's bad experiences when you made the statement.



To the guy above who owns a shop ...

Right, so we have a 'my business is better than yours and I'm successful' post.

Is this a soundtrack shop you own? Right, why not advertise here? Tell us who you are instead of the anonymous spit. FSM has a deal with SAE but there's nothing to stop you promoting your shop here, so why are you anonymous? I don't see comments like these, especially at this time as very 'professional'. It's called 'crowing'.

Yes, the shop was under 'The Arches' and trains went overhead. Big deal. It was reasonably central, especially for a specialist market.

Firstly I just don't know where this 'Barry versus Goldsmith' came from, except in your own head. They loved Goldsmith. In fact, they used to try to push his material at every opportunity, a mantra I'd hear was 'You're the Rozsa man ... but why not become a Jerry Goldsmith completist?' David used to say he hated it when people got partisan or snobbish or elitist about their pet composers. And Richard suggested I get into Desplat. They were very broad church, but they had a definite personal preference for Golden/early Silver era. Who doesn't? But that was never reflected in their catalogues. Did they sell second-hand material as 'new'? Do tell if you have the evidence.

You say they should have moved their business on and kept up with new technological developments. How exactly? E-Bay is not enough. How does a CD shop become an internet download business? Do tell. And if they do, how can they be cheaper than every other download business? This is not a mainstream market.

They were more expensive, that's all. That alone was a factor in their 'guilt'. They were one of only two companies in the UK to try going it alone in soundtracks, and then they held on. Isn't there bravery in that? Virgin and HMV closed down MANY small record outlets, especially specialist ones. I know of one. How can anyone compete?

So they drove BMWs. And you don't. Big deal. This is payback time, eh? Your shop, on the other hand, is so successful you don't tell us your name or advertise here.

The stuff about them looking down on their customers? News to me. And you're party to the 'behind doors' secrets, where they sneered at their customers. Did you bug their homes perhaps? Too much personal vendetta in all this. You know them, you felt they looked down on you. That's all I see so if there's more, let's hear it. You knew them well enough to gain their confidences TO A POINT it would seem. Then you make your first and probably only post on the day of their demise.

 
 Posted:   Dec 12, 2009 - 9:31 AM   
 By:   Chris Rimmer   (Member)

I don't know anything about a Barry v Goldsmith war, I DO know they had an intense dislike of anything by Hans Zimmer, and they weren't too keen on ethnic wailing. When the wife and I went to their shop, we always parked in Rob's parking space (he doesn't drive) she would shop around Leeds for a few hours, while we chattered about film scores and I usually ended up buying several, when the wife returned she brought cream cakes, so we would have cream cakes and coffee with Rob and Richard before driving home. Internet shopping is a lot cheaper but it's not half as much fun. Sad to say that with the decline of Borders in York there is only HMV that has any sort of soundtrack selection, and that's not very inspiring, so I think all my cd shopping from now on will be on the Internet, there really isn't any other option, and that 's sad.

 
 Posted:   Dec 12, 2009 - 10:44 AM   
 By:   johnjohnson   (Member)

When the wife and I went to their shop, we always parked in Rob's parking space (he doesn't drive)

Chris,
Rob mentioned to me in the past about his parking space outside the shop which he never used, because he didn't drive. In fact when I lived in Leeds, I used to take the bus to Yeadon to see a friend in the evening and even shared part of the journey with Rob.

John.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 12, 2009 - 10:44 AM   
 By:   Simon Morris   (Member)



The stuff about them looking down on their customers? News to me. And you're party to the 'behind doors' secrets, where they sneered at their customers. Did you bug their homes perhaps? Too much personal vendetta in all this. You know them, you felt they looked down on you. That's all I see so if there's more, let's hear it. You knew them well enough to gain their confidences TO A POINT it would seem. Then you make your first and probably only post on the day of their demise.



I agree - this gentleman's post left a very nasty taste in my mouth; clearly he has some sort of gripe or agenda. I doubt we can expect any other posts in the forum from this person - on any film music related subject! He seems to have registered for the forum and then posted all that stuff out of little more than spite.

As for Movie Boulevard, I used them several years ago but in the Internet age, they just didn't offer the competitive prices that can be found at the click of a mouse now. I'm sorry they're gone.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 12, 2009 - 10:46 AM   
 By:   films1   (Member)

I went in the shop in the early days and t was a treasure trove of film scores and memorabilia, and i would eagerly buy new cds and rare ones, however that was in my naive days as a collector , as well as pre internet , and I must say they provided a great outlet for collectors and the like ... they were expensive but for me it was having a store that you could walk in and be whisked away to minefield of movie music. Once I had the internet I realised things could be purchased a lot cheaper and I guess that was the road I went down , and when i did go in and not buy anything I felt the welcoming was not as warm ( however I cannot blame them for that) , so I stopped going.

To me its not a surprise they went under , they did not remain competetive , they were really expensive and they did not grasp other oppurtunities ( e bay etc) and although its a shame , customers need a sense of value for money and with MB they were not getting it.

 
 Posted:   Dec 13, 2009 - 12:24 PM   
 By:   First Breath   (Member)

I remember ordering CDs from MB in the early 90s, and getting those small pink and green catalogues with the micron-sized print.

I had no idea they were still going.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 15, 2009 - 6:06 AM   
 By:   Les Jepson   (Member)

My partner and I used to park in Rob's spot, too.

The only thing I agree with in the revolting rant above is that some of their stuff was expensive -- but not all of it. The last time I was in there (not long ago) I bought Rosenthal's THE COMEDIANS for £11.99. Not a bad price for the genuine article, I thought.

The only favourable mention in that awful piece is of "a key member of staff"...I wonder. I remember Rob telling me that the "key member of staff" took a copy of their customer list with him when he left.

 
 Posted:   Dec 15, 2009 - 12:37 PM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

The only favourable mention in that awful piece is of "a key member of staff"...I wonder. I remember Rob telling me that the "key member of staff" took a copy of their customer list with him when he left.

That rings a bell. I had a similar thought.

The anonymity suggests an awareness that the comments wouldn't look too professional.

 
 Posted:   Dec 15, 2009 - 12:46 PM   
 By:   Chris Rimmer   (Member)


The only favourable mention in that awful piece is of "a key member of staff"...I wonder. I remember Rob telling me that the "key member of staff" took a copy of their customer list with him when he left.


That's exactly the same story that I was told.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 22, 2010 - 4:30 PM   
 By:   rickcurzon   (Member)

I am deeply upset to hear of Richard's troubles, and wish him and his family all of the best. I first used Movie Boulevard back in 1991, and visited fairly solidly up until I moved away from Leeds in late 2003. Even then I managed to get back once-twice a year and always bought DVDs/CDs when I did. I used to have massive long chats with both Robert and Richard, arguing the toss about what films we liked/disliked; bemoaning the decline of Hollywood etc. I last visited sometime in early 2009.

I would love to get back in touch with them, and if anyone reading this could put me in touch I would greatly appreciate it. My email is:

hammeramicus2002@yahoo.co.uk

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 24, 2010 - 9:52 AM   
 By:   SoundtrackChap   (Member)

I am deeply upset to hear of Richard's troubles, and wish him and his family all of the best. I first used Movie Boulevard back in 1991, and visited fairly solidly up until I moved away from Leeds in late 2003. Even then I managed to get back once-twice a year and always bought DVDs/CDs when I did. I used to have massive long chats with both Robert and Richard, arguing the toss about what films we liked/disliked; bemoaning the decline of Hollywood etc. I last visited sometime in early 2009.

I would love to get back in touch with them, and if anyone reading this could put me in touch I would greatly appreciate it. My email is:

hammeramicus2002@yahoo.co.uk

 
 Posted:   Jun 5, 2010 - 12:23 PM   
 By:   johnjohnson   (Member)

Any further updates on Rob and Richard?

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 10, 2010 - 6:58 PM   
 By:   BasilDowl   (Member)

I can't believe it! MB has gone!

Stunned by this news - have been out of the soundtrack loop for a few years, just looking to meet old acquaintances, went down to the shop today, all locked up and the signs/posters gone!

Sad, sad days - although, in a small way, I'm a contributor I suppose.

Was massively into film music back in 2000-2004, used to buy everything from these guys, and I mean everything. I remember going in every month, on payday, without fail - and spending 2,3 even 4 hours in there listening to scores, chatting (arguing!) about anything and everything - and coming out with a dozen or more new CDs (as well as a cheeky poster, postcard etc!) It was that personal touch - the listen before you buy, the latest scores first, the depth of knowledge...

I remember loads of little anecdotes... about sex with Fiona Fullerton, how John Barry "wouldn't know Hans Zimmer if he fell over him...", how Goldsmith secretly loved the bad reviews he'd get in FSM, how a certain composer simply plays a previous score backwards... God this is a sad day. Without these guys, I wouldn't have listened to Desplat, Farley, Delerue, Rosza, Kilar...

Had a huge, sudden change in personal circs, though, and had to stop buying soundtracks. I aways thought I'd get back one day, and go in and see if they remember me, and the hundreds and hundreds of pounds I spent... I actually feel a pang of guilt now for not continuing my business - although obviously I wouldn't have stopped if I had a choice!

Very sad news. If anyone does hear from them, please send them by best regards? Mr Dowling, Goldsmith fan, purchaser "of any old crap we sell, including that Congo press kit...".

RIP MB.

 
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