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Jersey City's Iris Records commemmorates 20th anniversary with gala bash at Cathedral Hall
By Jim Testa | For The Jersey Journal
on October 11, 2016 at 12:30 PM, updated October 11, 2016 at 12:33 PM

Digital technology has changed our lives in dozens of ways, but a few simple truths remain: People still enjoy the old-fashioned pleasures of going to the movies, reading a book, and shopping at a record store. Nowhere is that more evident than at Jersey City's Iris Records, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this weekend with a gala event at the new Cathedral Hall on Montgomery Street.

The anniversary bash will take place on Saturday, October 15. "This is a party for our longtime customers and new customers, our best customers and our worst customers, our ex-employees, and everyone who's been involved with the store," said Iris' owner, Stephen Gritzan. "It starts at 9 and ends at 3, there's a cash bar, free admission, and we're going to have our best DJ's playing a variety of music throughout the night."

Cathedral Hall is the deconsecrated St. Bridget's Church at 380 Montgomery Street, which has been repurposed by the Fourth Street Arts organization to host concerts and special events like this. "It's been a very unlikely 20 years here in Jersey City and I thought it was something that should be celebrated in a big way," said Gritzan.

Gritzan opened Iris Records in the storefront at 114 Brunswick St., in 1996. "There was nothing going on in the neighborhood back then," he recalled. "Downtown Jersey City was a ghost town. A lot has changed since then, and I'll tell you, with everything I see going on with gentrification and rents... I tell everybody, there's not going to be another party. I suspect I won't be here forever. So come to this one."


WFMU deejay and former Maxwell's owner Todd Abramson will be among those spinning records at Cathedral Hall. "We'll have house, disco, garage, every kind of music," said Gritzan. "We've had a lot of really great people spin records in the store and at the Record Riots over the years and we'll inviting all the best ones to come play at the party."

The Iris Records 20th Anniversay Celebration will take place at Cathedral Hall (380 Montgomery Street, Jersey City) on Saturday, Oct. 15. Doors open at 9 p.m. and admission is free. Iris Records is located at 114 Brunswick St., and is open noon 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and noon 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The Jersey City Record Riot will take place at Grove Street Plaza on Saturday, Oct. 29 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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