21 Aug 2014
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Meet the Owner: Anthony Cascella of Breakdown Records

Bayside vinyl store celebrates its 25th anniversary on Bell Boulevard.

Meet the Owner: Anthony Cascella of Breakdown Records

Anthony Cascella wants to reinstitute a social tradition involved in the process of discovering great music.

Bayside's Breakdown Records, which is co-owned by Cascella and Ara Soyak, is celebrating its 25th year along Bell Boulevard.

To celebrate, Cascella intends to put up a stage inside his used vinyl and CD store on which local bands and comedians can perform.

He said he wants to lure Bayside residents away from their computers and rediscover the joys of visiting a local record store.

"When I was young, it used to be a fun thing to go to the record store and look around," he said. "When we opened Breakdown Records, Bayside was more of an arts community. It was a happening area for cultural activity. We want to bring some of that back. I'd like to revitalize the experience of going to a record store."

Breakdown sells used vinyl for $2, DVDs and CDs for $5 and cassettes for $2, but Cascella said he eventually hopes to stock the store with new vinyl, T-shirts, incense and posters.

The store also sells records, which range in price from $1 to $100, on eBay and Amazon.

Prior to opening Breakdown in 1987, Cascella worked at Flushing's Mr. Cheapo's record store, which eventually relocated to Mineola.

He and Soyak founded their own store with the more than 1,000 records they owned and gradually built their collection. Currently, the store pays up to a few dollars for used vinyl, CDs or DVDs, but Cascella said he would negotiate for rarer items.

In 2013, he hopes to build a stage in the front corner of his store that can be used by local performers.

"We'd like to get young people from the community involved," he said. "We'd love to have monthly shows. There are so many schools around here, so we want to get the word out. Our plan is for a revitalization of Breakdown."

Cascella said he has noticed that vinyl is once again becoming popular with younger listeners. "We have parents come in with their teenage kids and they bond over vinyl," he said. "Parents know a lot about it and their kids want to learn."

Breakdown Records is located at 48-09 Bell Blvd. The store is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 718-279-0040.

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