WEST CHESTER, PA - After 42 years, an iconic record shop in downtown West Chester is about to close its doors.
John Harton is the Proprietor of the Mad Platter record store and has been putting on records and running the shop with Deborah Rich for the past 42 years. They’ve watched the music industry change through the years, and until now, their store has stood the test of time.
“We just kept adapting,” explained Harton. “But at one point we had move the vinyl into storage and brought out racks for CDs and now we are finding ourselves doing the opposite.”
Although the price of music has changed with MP3’s and music streaming, the Mad Platter has kept many things the same, like their posters, which have been $7 since 1989 when the sign above their door first went up.
Harton says right now, “The new products, new CDs and new records are all 30% off.”
The shops owners were recently faced with the tough decision of whether to sign another lease on their West Gay Street property in the heart of West Chester.
“It’s a question of, ‘Are we willing to sign on for another 5 to 10 years, taking us into our 70s to do this, or is it better to call it a day now?’ It usually seems to be a good idea to call it a day now,” said Harton.
So much to their customers and their own dismay, they’ll be selling off the rest of their inventory and closing shop in mid-July.
Deborah Rich, who has worked at the Mad Platter for 40 years said, “It’s sad! We love it and we are going to miss the people and miss the music and everything about it. We basically put our heart and soul into it and you have to end eventually.”
But Debbie and John say they’ve made one more order and it’s not for more CDs or records. “We’ve had such a huge demand for our t-shirts, people want them as a memento, that we are placing one final giant order of shirts that will arrive in early June because we pretty much sold every last one of the ones we have.”
So whether you stop in for one final record, a t-shirt, or to say goodbye, the memories from the Mad Platter will be playing in people’s heads long after the last song ends.