Boulder’s Albums on the Hill record store closing after 35 years


Andy Schneidkraut has owned Albums on the Hill for 35 years. But after Labor Day, the longstanding record store on Boulder’s University Hill will close its doors permanently — and plenty of music buffs have made time to stop in over the holiday weekend and say goodbye.

“I’ve seen people that I haven’t seen for years,” Schneidkraut said, citing friends, family and customers who have come to Boulder from as close as Longmont to as far away as Massachusetts.

The decision to close is not a matter of business, said Schneidkraut, but a matter of health. After undergoing both a kidney transplant and heart surgery in the spring, Schneidkraut said he realized it was time for him to take a step back.

“Sometimes, you don’t want to let go of things, but decisions are forced upon you,” he said. “I’m at the point where it isn’t a good choice for me to die behind the counter.”

This weekend, for the first time since Schneidkraut temporarily closed the store in April to focus on his health, Albums on the Hill is open to the public for one “last hurrah.” Nearly all items are heavily discounted throughout the weekend, from DVDs to cassette tapes to books.

The turnout has been “unbelievable,” Schneidkraut said.

“It’s always interesting to discover how much you matter to people when you don’t know whether you matter to yourself that much,” he said.

Schneidkraut said the next step is figuring out what to do with Albums on the Hill’s extensive, eclectic collection of media. He would prefer to sell the business to someone who would preserve it as a record store, he said.

There are a few other record stores remaining in Boulder County, including Paradise Found Records & Music on Boulder’s Pearl Street. Albums on the Hill is special, though, Boulder resident Alyssa Boback said.

“I’ve never been to a record store that feels so homey,” Boback said.

Boback is one of many customers who flocked to the store for its final weekend. Andrew Pineda, a University of Colorado Boulder alum who lives in Fort Collins, has been a dedicated customer at Albums on the Hill for more than10 years.

“As soon as I saw that the store was closing for good, I told my wife that, one way or another, we were going to Boulder for the weekend,” Pineda said.

Lindsay Gildersleeve, left, and Olivia Colender talk as they look over vinyl records in Albums on the Hill on 13th Street on University Hill in Boulder on April 10, 2018. Soaring demand for vinyl has led Denver-based Vinyl Me, Please to announce plans for a pressing plant in RiNo, to open in late 2022. (Paul Aiken, Daily Camera)
Lindsay Gildersleeve, left, and Olivia Colender talk as they look over vinyl records in Albums on the Hill on 13th Street on University Hill in Boulder on April 10, 2018. (Paul Aiken, Daily Camera)

While there are record stores closer to his Fort Collins home that Pineda could patronize, he said he enjoys the way older community staples like Albums on the Hill are able to bring music lovers in the area together. “Newer stores don’t have that same gravity,” he said.

Pineda also said he appreciates how personable Schneidkraut is. He remembers when Schneidkraut gave him a special version of “Sister Cities,” the 2018 album by Pineda’s favorite band, The Wonder Years.



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