This film is part of Free

Record Shop (Fun Palace outtakes)

Back in 1963, record shops were a place to hang out with friends and hear the latest pop tunes, with no pressure to buy.

1963 3 mins


This vinyl emporium is a gathering place where listening to the new single by your favourite combo is all part of the service. Booths allowed customers to hear before they bought and flipping through the racks was a way of passing the time, as well as checking out new releases. This unidentified shop carries a pretty broad selection, with space for Schubert and Strauss, plus jazz (trad and modern), alongside 'popular'. The window display is clearly aimed at male customers, featuring some risqué LPs (including 'Music to Strip By') as well as some Kenny Lynch for the ladies.

This footage was shot for a film Littlewood was making to support her Fun Palace concept. This was intended to be a huge movable construction that would contain education and entertainment. In 1963 she shot 60 reels of 16mm rushes around London to show what people currently did for leisure and to demonstrate that something else was needed. The film was finished but is now lost and Joan’s Fun Palace never got built. However, the rushes paint a fantastic picture of the period, with many expertly filmed by cameraman Walter Lassally, who also shot “We Are The Lambeth Boys” and “A Taste Of Honey”.