Local Current Blog

Flashlight Vinyl, in Northeast Minneapolis, to close on Oct. 27

Raoul Benavides at Flashlight Vinyl in 2016. (photos by Nate Ryan/MPR)

Flashlight Vinyl, a stylish store that’s been open in Northeast Minneapolis since the beginning of 2016, has announced that it will permanently close its doors as of Nov. 1. “Gratitude is all a person can have at this point,” wrote owner Raoul Benavides on Facebook. “So many great people, new friends and stories came to visit and share their love of vinyl.” Update 10/26: Via Instagram, the store now says its last day will be Oct. 27.

Benavides always prided himself on a wide selection, from buck-a-disc LPs to rare selections running into the three figures. He celebrated Record Store Days in festive fashion with Bogart’s doughnuts and a tent sale. According to the store’s Facebook page, they’re offering graduated discounts until their final day of operation. “We are offering 25% off used vinyl until Oct 15th & 50% off all used vinyl from Oct 15th until Halloween.”

The Current’s Brian Oake says his favorite thing about the store was the wide range of $3 records, which expanded from a single vault to fill much of the store’s second floor. “It was a pure picker’s delight,” he says. “I would always leave with $60 worth of $3 records.”

When the store opened at 1519 Central Ave. N.E., Benavides told The Current’s Andrea Swensson what he loved about being a purveyor of vinyl.

“I think we all strive to live a tactile life,” he said. “We all want to touch and we all want to be a part of something and I think records make you participate. I love the idea that it’s an object of art. It’s a real thing and I think that we all need that. We all lost it in this digital revolution or whatever and we all just want to touch and feel and be loved.”