Movie News & Reviews

Tower film draws former employees to Sacramento from around the world

rpench@sacbee.com

If you see a pack of senior citizens whooping it up in Sacramento tonight, you best step aside.

They might just be a group of former Tower Records employees in town to party about the past.

Hundreds of former Tower Records employees have descended on the home of the defunct record store chain for an employee reunion timed with the theatrical release of “All Things Must Pass,” the Colin Hanks documentary about the life and death of the chain.

“I think it’s great that we are still a family,” said Theresa Allen, 69. She started at the company at age 33 and stayed with the once global giant until the end in 2006.

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Sacramento’s Tower Records grew out of a side business operated by Russ Solomon in his father’s drugstore next to the Tower Theater in Land Park, where the documentary will have its Sacramento premier at 7:30 p.m. The company grew into a dominant force in the record business with 200 stores globally.

Eventually things fell apart with the rise of digital music sharing. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2006.

On Friday, the Dimple Records at 16th and Broadway – formerly a Tower – was transformed with signs carrying the red and yellow Tower logo.

A “Tower Records” bag will be given out with every purchase all weekend while supplies last, said Terri Williams, a former employee helping run the reunion. Williams started working at Tower an in intern in 1975.

“I learned a lot. It was like Tower University for me,” said Williams, who left in 2002 as vice president of marketing.

Former employees and the general public will have a chance to view Tower Records artifacts from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. Friday. Founder Russ Solomon is expected to be on hand at 5 p.m. for a press conference.

That’s just the beginning of the celebrations for the former employees, some of whom flew in from as far as Australia.

“The best part is going to be seeing so many of the employees I haven’t seen in years,” said Stan Goman, 67. One of the early employees, his 37-year run ended with the title chief operating officer.

Tower Records founder Russ Solomon reflects on the legacy of the business he founded.

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