It’s All About Vintage Vinyl at Apollo Music

Classic albums side-by-side

Pulling my vehicle into a very dark and semi-deserted warehouse complex on a rainy evening around 9:00pm, I felt I was starring in my own spy novel and arriving at a clandestine meeting with my ‘contact’. I didn’t need a secret knock to get in, but it did seem a bit odd to open the dimly lit solid door and peer inside onto the stairway heading up into the unknown. I was met by nothing more sinister than the dulcet tones of Van Morrison’s ‘Avalon Sunset’ (1989) album as I climbed the grey wooden steps. I was greeted at the top by Mike Rintoul, one of the two owners of Apollo Music, as he manned the turntable and worked at his desk.

Apollo Music: A Tri-Cities Institution Since 1993

Apollo Music at night

Apollo Music at night – arriving at my clandestine meeting.

Apollo Music specializes in vintage vinyl and memorabilia. Though they are located in Port Coquitlam, they cater to music lovers and collectors all over the world. Mike told me their eBay store services clientele from Germany, Japan and Russia, as well as all across North America, to name just a few places they have shipped pieces of their massive collection. He and co-owner Jamie Ansty have been in their Tyner Street location since moving there in 2009 from a Coquitlam location on Austin Avenue. Before that they were in Port Moody from 1993 until 2003.

Since the move to the warehouse location, Mike and Jamie have abandoned regular retail sales and focused exclusively on the vintage market. Apollo Music now purchases large collections of vintage vinyl instead of the latest top 40 hit parade CDs from the big music distributors. For example, this past summer they purchased over 40,000 LPs and 13,000 45s from the CBC…they also bought the shelves. After closing for a few days to get organized they have begun to offer the pop/rock, classical and jazz discs they acquired in the haul.

Waxing Nostalgic

Stacks and stacks of wax

Stacks and stacks of wax

The clientele that visits the Apollo Music warehouse is mostly male, and ranges in age from 15 to 50, according to Mike. Sometimes it is a die-hard collector looking for that hard to find classic, other times it is a younger guy that discovered a Beatles album at home and wants to find more. There were a few guys there the night I visited (they are open late on Wednesdays) hunched over the bins of records looking for a lost treasure or an obscure bargain. In the time I was there a few came and went and it seemed a greater proportion were known by name and greeted when they came upstairs.

During my exploration downstairs, I had to literally squeeze between shelves and boxes to reach an area of country and gospel LPs, and even found some 78s way in the back. I spent some time thumbing through the albums picking out records I recognized from my parents’ long-gone collection. I had some great nostalgic memories of music I had not heard in a long time. I also had some waves of nostalgia wash over me as I held albums I recognized from my youth, thinking back to how I used to bring home an LP, unwrap it, read the liner notes and just look at the cover art while I listened to my new purchase. Unwrapping a CD just doesn’t have the same tactile presence, and downloading an mp3 from iTunes won’t ever come close.

Apollo Music Inc.

#8-2260 Tyner St, Port Coquitlam | 778.285.9544

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