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Photo Essay: Music Millennium Survived the Advent of Streaming Services. Now It’s Surviving the Pandemic, Too.

Each month since reopening, sales have roughly equaled figures from the previous year.

BY ROCKNE ANDREW ROLL

Founded in 1969, Music Millennium has survived Napster, smartphones and streaming.

When the COVID-19 pandemic came, the store switched to curbside- and online-only service for 10 weeks but returned to limited in-store shopping in June. Now admitting up to 10 customers at a time, there is frequently a line to enter the store. Each month since reopening, sales have roughly equaled figures from the previous year.

Music Millennium started as an 800-square-foot storefront in the westernmost end of the building, a former Piggly-Wiggly restaurant. It now occupies more than three times as much space.

Owner Terry Currier worked as an assistant manager of a record store before graduating from high school. He became Music Millennium's managing partner in 1984 and is now the sole owner.

Used records and CDs are a significant part of Music Millennium's business. In 1993, when Garth Brooks and recording executives threatened to cut off shops that traded in used media, Currier led a publicity campaign that forced the industry to back down.

Unlike many independent stores, Music Millennium is connected to the major record labels and can special order almost anything a customer is looking for.

While his business has persevered through myriad changes, Currier worries about the possibility of recording companies shifting away from the production of records and CDs, leaving the store without new products to sell.

"This is an institution," says store employee and longtime Portlander Dan Sacks. "Working for Music Millennium is an honor."