3 reviews of Empire Exchange in English
Ah, the Empire Exchange. Even if you haven’t been in, you probably know where it is. Located in a basement on Newton Street, it always has music blaring out onto the street, boxes of books and 7” records on the pavement outside, and a crowded window display that’s jam-packed with everything from mannequins and movie cut-outs to books on alien abductions and collectable magazines.
The shop is pretty hard to define. But, basically, if there’s something that can be collected, you’ll probably find it here – or at least find someone who can help you out. It’s a huge store, but it’s packed to the rafters with magazines, including vintage NME’s and Melody Makers, cult books, DVDs, videos, CDs, vinyl and memorabilia. However, there’s a rather sleazy side too. One corner of the shop is devoted to adult films, books and magazines – and you’ll usually see a few middle aged men with stained anoraks lurking behind the curtain there.
Someone once told me that Debbie Harry loves this shop and always visits it when Blondie hit Manchester. It sounds pretty far fetched, I know. But she often visits Afflecks Palace when she’s in town, so it might just be true. And anyway, who could blame her? You can find some real gems in here, and they’re all reasonably priced. The people who run it are great characters, too. They nearly always have a few tales to tell you – and sometimes you can even barter their prices down!
Empire Exchange cannot be explained, you need to see it to believe it.
From the outside the place looks quite bizarre, even a little seedy but don't be put off at all, once in you're exposed to an Aladdin's Cave of wonders. Magazine back issues, vinyl from every style, 7inch singles, comics, and books are all stacked in some vague illusion of order but most of the fun is in browsing through to see what you can find.
The place also does sell adult material but it is in a seperate section of the shop so don't be put off if you think you'll see something you didn't want to.
Empire Exchange does sell a lot of memorabilia, some of it intriguing, some of it confusing as to who would manufacture or buy it but it's all worth a look. That goes for the shop as a whole, from the homemade UFO VHS's, to the classical poetry and books on every subject imaginable to the back issues of NME and FHM there are treasures to be had in this place somewhere its just a case of finding them.
Empire Exchange is a shop full of collectors material. They sell comics, old magazines, coins, paintings, literally anything someone somewhere would collect. It is a big shop with staff who are experts on what they sell. The great attraction is that they exchange and buy items as well, so if you have unwanted items in the attic it is a perfect way to sell them. They also sell rare vinyl and music memorabilia.
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