Two Nobleboro residents and Lincoln Academy alums hope to share their passion for music with the community with the opening of their downtown Damariscotta store selling vinyl records and audio equipment.
Lincoln County natives Olivia DeLisle and Zacharias Rankin own Reel to Reel Music in the Elm Street Plaza.
While the idea of opening a record store has been percolating since October, DeLisle and Rankin’s passion for music has been a lifelong endeavor. DeLisle sings and plays violin in the band Driving Charlie Home, while Rankin plays bass guitar and keyboards in the band Zesty!
DeLisle and Rankin also host open mic nights at Schooner Landing in Damariscotta, where they both tend bar during the season.
Bernie DeLisle, Olivia’s father, suggested the two open the shop, Olivia said. Rankin, who has amassed a large record collection over the years, said opening the store would bring a new service to the area.
“There’s really no place to get music in town,” Rankin said. “If I was looking for music, I would drive to Brunswick or Portland. Bernie got us thinking that we could really bring that here and have a local place for the people like us.”
DeLisle and Rankin worked with Colby & Gale Inc. Vice President Verne Verney to rent the space, which was formerly home to Radio Shack. Colby & Gale owns Elm Street Plaza.
Work on the store began in earnest in January, with friends and family helping out. DeLisle’s brother and sister-in-law, August and Torie DeLisle, built the wooden displays for the records, while Rankin and Bernie DeLisle installed wooden paneling on one of the walls inside the building.
Portland artist Mike Rich designed and painted a mural on one of the inside walls.
The store has a wide variety of vinyl records, from classic rock like Led Zeppelin to new releases from artists like Lady Gaga.
New inventory comes from a variety of sources. While DeLisle and Rankin continue to search for records, some customers have brought by boxes to donate or invited the owners to take a look at their collection to see if there’s anything they need.
“We don’t really have a system set up for buying records from people yet, but we’re always willing to take a look at what people bring in,” Rankin said.
Reel to Reel carries new and used turntables, speakers, amplifiers, and offers some repair services, such as needle repairs for record players.
The store also has cassettes and a section of comics, rounding out Reel to Reel’s “old school media,” offerings, Rankin said.
In addition, Reel to Reel will promote local bands and artists. The store will sell CDs from local artists, and a chalkboard at the front of the large wooden display shows when and where musicians are performing locally.
“It’s not about promoting one place or another. It’s about promoting the music,” Rankin said.
Reel to Reel officially opened to the public Saturday, April 8. The first customer was Bernie Delisle, who purchased a turntable. A grand opening is planned for later in the year.
DeLisle and Rankin have plans for the future of the store, including diversifying the inventory to include skateboards and renovating the back room into a recording space that can also be used for music lessons.
Reel to Reel is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The schedule may change in the summer.
“The community has just been so supportive and excited,” DeLisle said. “We both grew up here and love it here, so to do something like this, with this much support from family and our friends and other business owners … it’s just really awesome.”
For more information about Reel to Reel Music, find Reel to Reel Music on Facebook or call the store at 563-3360.