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Founded by the owners of Rasputin Music, Amoeba Music opened on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley in 1990. The stores are unusually large given their independent status. The San Francisco store, which opened in 1997 in the Haight-Ashbury district, is especially notable for its size. Occupying a 24,000 square foot former bowling alley, the store regularly stocks upwards of 100,000 new & used CDs, vinyl records, and audio cassettes.

The Southern California location was added in 2001 when the store opened a new branch on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. At the time of its opening, the store planned to stock as many as 250,000 titles, which would place the store among the largest independent music stores in the world.

The stores also trade in movies, though secondarily to their music business. Each location has a smaller collection of movies on DVD, VHS, and Laserdisc. In addition, each store maintains a selection of music-related posters and artwork for purchase, as well as Amoeba-branded merchandise. In addition, Amoeba Records frequently holds free shows during store hours with locally and nationally known artists from a wide variety of genres.

This store is a playable venue in the music game, Guitar Hero: World Tour.

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