The Phono Museum is one of those Parisian hidden gems we have a special fondness for. It is so well hidden, in fact, that this collection of more than 250 phonographs, gramophones, jukeboxes and turntables is currently under threat. A donation request has been launched on crowdfunding site Ulule, with the goal of reaching the 33,000 dollars necessary for saving the Museum.
In September 2014, Jalal Aro, owner of the gramophone shop next door, realized his dream when he opened the Phono Museum in the heart of Pigalle. With the help of the members of the Phonoplanète association, the expert on gramophones, “talking machines” and antique recording media gathered more than 250 items covering the sound inventions of the last 140 years. The collection includes examples of the very first phonographs, the talking doll invented by Edison in 1880, the first machine able to play a recorded disc, and a rare recording of Pope Leo XIII. It is a very large and impressive collection, which is currently threatened with closure.
A debt of more than 50 000 euros
Having to pay a monthly rent of up to 3,000 euros, Jalal slowly but surely slipped into 55,000 dollars of debt. The letter of formal notice he received from Paris Habitat was a real wake-up call. It is now more important than ever to act as quickly as possible to try and save this historical treasure. There is less than a week left to support the museum via the Ulule crowdfunding platform and reach the 33,000-dollar target set by Jalal. The donations will allow him to repay the crippling debts threatening the existence of his museum. He also wishes to use the money raised to build a recording booth similar to the Voice-O-Graph found in musician Jack White’s renowned Third Man Records shop in Nashville..
A remarkable collection
The Phono Museum, which is run by a volunteer association, has received a symbolic gesture of support from the city halls of the 9th and 18th arrondissements, but does not benefit from any financial aid from the City of Paris. And yet, the museum has already proven its worth: Olivier Dahan’s La Vie en Rose, Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds, Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, and Xavier Giannoli’s Marguerite are just some of the movies that feature Jalal’s collectables in a bid to recreate the atmosphere of a particular era. All the machines displayed in the museum are operational and the Phonoplanète association team is always glad to turn them on for visitors. The double chest-piece fontanophone, formerly used in ballrooms, is one of the flagship pieces of the collection. A musical evening is also held every first Sunday of the month. All this makes the Phono Museum a unique and vibrant place – it would be a real shame to see it disappear. So head to the Phono Museum and discover its unique collection, or give these enthusiasts a helping hand via their crowdfunding campaign on Ulule.
53 boulevard de Rochechouart, 75009 Paris
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