Colony Music, one of the few remaining iconic Times Square independent businesses left, will close its doors on Oct. 1, it was reported. Business partner Richard Turk told Playbill.com the shuttering was due to "increased expenses, decreased sales," and the surfeit of online sellers of sheet music and recordings.
Colony has been in business since 1948, and was a vibrant reminder of a time when the Theatre District had not just theatre, but was also full of music venues featuring jazz and cabaret, and other businesses connected to the music industry. It's very location is a bit of music history: it occupies a corner of the fabled Brill Building at 49th Street and Broadway, where songwriters used to plug away at pianos, trying to hatch songs that might become the next hit record for the singing stars of the 1940s, '50s, '60s and '70s.
For years, Colony was recognized by passersby for its iconic neon sign of a mini-skirted girl on tip-toe, holding an outsized album aloft in ecstatic, vaguely erotic delight. The sign was removed a few years ago at the landlord's behest.
To a certain extent, Colony's fate has been sealed for some time. The store was born in a time when people went to actual physical stores to buy record albums and 45s and sheet music. That sort of music shopping has been dead for years. Still, it was beloved by music purists, and denizens of the theatre.