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Rockley Music Center in Lakewood closing down after 73 years

Iconic Lakewood shop will shut its doors on December 21
Mel and Newton Rockley  1946 Mel.jpg
Posted at 9:35 PM, Dec 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-05 01:09:37-05

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LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- Change is a fact of life in our Colorado. But sometimes that change can be painful. That's the case in Lakewood, where another iconic landmark is calling it quits.

The Rockley Music Center has been a fixture on West Colfax since 1946. But now, it's closing its doors — hitting a sour note with some of its longtime customers.

"I bought my first piano here when I moved to Denver," said longtime customer Mark Castellano.

Rockley Music Center vice president Liane Rockley said the skyrocketing cost of living in Colorado has made it more difficult to keep the business afloat.

"Once people get done paying for rent and getting stuck in traffic, there's not a lot of disposable income left," said Rockley. "It's a very challenging time for a lot of mom and pop, small independent retailers," said Rockley.

The Rockley family opened the Lakewood shop in 1946, moving to its current location in the 50's. They originally sold appliances, but moved into selling musical instruments and began offering lessons.

Cheryl Pasma has been coming to the shop since the 7th grade.

"I got my guitar here. It's just so sad to see things you're so used to seeing for so long — they're just disappearing, just a little at a time," said Pasma.

Castellano, who's been doing business at Rockley for 12 years, sailed through Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee" and sang the blues about the end of an era.

"It's bittersweet. It's nice to have new things, but a lot of the old feel of Denver is getting pushed out , which is kind of sad."

Rockley said that in the past few weeks, countless families have dropped by to share their stories.

"Things like, 'I bought my first trumpet there in the 80's for band.' It's wonderful to hear and it does bring a little bit of tears to your eyes," said Rockley.

The shop will close for good December on 21, and as the sun sets on another piece of Colorado history, the Rockley family is singing the praises of the people who allowed them to bring sweet music to generations of Coloradans.

"Thanks from myself and my husband, and the rest of the Rockley family - it's been really wonderful. Thank you for your support and patronage for all these years," said Rockley.

The Rockley Music Center is having a liquidation sale, offering what they're calling "Once in a generation pricing." The shop is located at 8555 West Colfax in Lakewood. For more information, call 233-4444 and press 7.