When Turntables Played Records and Cameras Used Film

Meet the beatles

A couple of weeks ago Bernie and I were sitting in Benny Marzano’s eating giant slices of pizza when I spotted what might be a fun store across the street and to the right. John’s Camera Corner at 213 Draper Rd Downtown Blacksburg is just that. Not only does John have working cameras dating back to 1887, he also has a 1936 slot machine and turntables that play round vinyl things some of us fondly remember as record albums. Dozens of crates full of records, racks of singles, 45’s and 78s, record players and stereo speakers are everywhere.

Purists that still have cameras requiring film can find everything they need here. John stocks plenty of real film and he can process it for you too. Box cameras, brownies, Polaroids and more are stacked all over the place on shelves along the walls. There are camera cases and tripods everywhere. It’s like going to a history of photography museum.

Looking through the crates of albums brought back so many memories. My grandfather bought me my very first grown-up album Meet The Beatles. I played it so often that I wore it out. Not only does John stock classic rock, you’ll also find soul, blues, jazz, R+B, comedy, opera, country etc. There were so many albums that I replaced when I bought a CD player and Walkman. Back then stores that sold used records bought them for 50 cents or a dollar. Some you couldn’t even give away. The covers were great. I remember having the Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers album with the real zipper on the pants. Dopey me sold it for a buck years ago.

Hanging out and talking to John is a trip down memory lane that I highly recommend. This place is amazing. If you are a child of “The 60’s” you’ll think you died and went to Heaven. Even if you’re not you’ll love this place. Go check it out.



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