Vintage vinyl

Dan and Lorna Lewis

Photo by Whitney Garcia

Business-savvy couple Dan and Lorna Lewis opened their vintage furniture and record store, MCM Vintage/Wax Museum Records, this past August to help support their growing appreciation for fine home furnishings and old music. Throughout the years, Dan's vinyl collection began to outgrow their garage, sheds and mini-storage units. After they sold two Subway restaurants in Paradise in 2013, they began to look for a storefront to house their new endeavor of selling Dan's records. The Lewises knew that they would need more than record sales to keep their business thriving, however, so they successfully integrated an antique co-op into their business plan, specializing in mid-century modern furnishing and collectibles. The Lewises sat down with the CN&R to talk about furniture from the 1950s and old records. Find MCM Vintage on Facebook, or look for their figurines of Jake and Elwood Blues on First Street.

What is MCM?

Mid-century modern describes the design revolution between 1940 and 1970. It started right after World War II; people began to buck the trends of past design concepts. Before then, things were designed to be very curvy. After the War, people became obsessed with the atomic and space age. Everything became cleaner, with straighter lines and bold colors.

And what is Wax Museum?

Back in the day, when DJs would play records on the air, they used to coat the records in wax so that when played, the needle would create grooves on the vinyl. The DJs would say that they were “spinning stacks of wax.” It's an old slang term that we've used for years. So, all the records in the store are ours, but a few aren't for sale. We put those up on the wall and will have captions explaining the history of them. That is our “Wax Museum.”

Why did you sell your business in Paradise?

We owned the Subways up there, and also designed the one in Magalia. It was too corporate; we were basically glorified managers. It got too hard to deal with the employment office and we didn't want to be in food service anymore.

How has the new venture been so far?

This was our first choice in location when we started looking earlier this year. It was a project of huge magnitude, and tons of renovations were needed. But we did it! After we made the necessary changes, we put an ad out on Craigslist for MCM furniture dealers. The support and interest we've gotten has been overwhelming. We get people of all ages coming in daily, even high school students who look for old records. We've hosted live music here, and we like to feature local artists on our walls. Eventually, we want to start a record collector convention. We work really hard, and the store is going very well. We are open five days a week and busy for all seven!