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Righteous Rags, a dying breed for eight-track tapes, will close its doors

One of the few remaining Spokane stores to sell hard-to-find eight-track tapes, among other items, plans to close its doors this month.

Righteous Rags & Records, a used clothing and second hand music store, will close by Aug. 31, said business owner Doug MacKenzie. He's operated the Spokane business near Gonzaga University since 2000. He earlier was co-owner of the prior business there, Drop Your Drawers.

The reason is purely economic. “The last few years have been a steady drain,” MacKenzie said. He’s leased the building, at 1307 N. Hamilton, from owner Willard Quinn.

MacKenzie said he’ll offer clothing items at 50 percent off until he shuts the business down. His unsold collection of LPs, CDs, cassettes and eight-track tapes will end up as part of a home-based business.

“I may be one of the last few places in Spokane that sells eight-tracks,” he added. He has roughly 100 eight-track cassettes, most of them selling for $2.

His interest in acquiring and selling eight-tracks happened several years ago when he learned how to repair defective cassettes.  MacKenzie said roughly half the eight-track tapes at his store were personally repaired.

“So I can guarantee you if you buy one it will definitely work, for at least one good play,” he said with a laugh.

He sold one a few weeks ago, an indicator that the now-obsolete eight-track technology is still being used by people.

“It’s probably because someone buys a car and finds an eight-track player in it. Then, they start looking around for tapes” he said.

Quinn, the landlord, has signed a lease for the building with two people who will run a skateboard and T-shirt shop, said Chris Nichols, co-owner of Chairs Coffee & Public House, a business that’s opening next door to Righteous Rags.

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The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.