By Ross Currie
Lyle’s Place has been a fixture in Victoria’s music retail community for 32 years. The shop started out as a bookstore at parliament mews in James Bay in 1982; primarily focusing on books while stocking a small selection of vinyl. “It seemed that people were more interested in the music, rather than the books. So we decided to move our store downtown and become a record shop,” says co-owner Janice Lyle who runs the shop with her husband Rod.
The current location on Yates Street stocks a “little bit of everything,” says Lyle. Housing a large selection of music memorabilia ranging from posters, t-shirts and buttons. As well as DVD’s, movie posters and pop culture related items. The shop still houses a large back-catalogue of CD’s, a small selection of cassettes and vinyl records, as well as being an outlet for local concert and festival tickets.
The shop’s focus on being a place to go for CD’s collectors/shoppers is another selling point, and is something that the Lyle’s are proud of. “Victoria has become a destination for CD buyers,” says Lyle. “Most cities don’t have a CD store anymore,” she adds. What’s quickly becoming a niche market is something that attracts a base of collectors all the way from Washington State to Alberta, who are looking for a back catalogue of CD’s.
The Lyle’s attribute the longevity of their shop to maintaining this variety throughout the years, and adapting to the ever-changing music retail landscape. “The industry isn’t what it used to be, but we’re carrying on. We don’t want to leave it,” says Lyle. Running a music shop in this day and age is certainly not easy, but it’s a job that is extremely important to the community in many respects. Especially for a shop that has served the community as long as Lyle’s Place has.
Time will tell if Lyle’s place will still be a place to shop, browse, listen or discuss all things music and pop culture another 32 years down the road; but without a doubt the shop has firmly established its place in Victoria’s music retail scene and will continue to give shoppers and passers-by a “little bit of everything” for years to come.