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Rowe Photo, Video and Audio closes Mt. Hope location; operations move to other sites

The Rowe Photo, Video and Audio store on Mt. Hope Ave. was at that location for more than 50 years.
Gino Fanelli
CITY Magazine
The Rowe Photo, Video and Audio store on Mt. Hope Ave. was at that location for more than 50 years.

One of the oldest retailers in Rochester is closing its main store.

Rowe Photo, Video and Audio is leaving its longtime Mt. Hope Avenue location.

The business has been around for 124 years, although not quite that long at the Mt. Hope Avenue location, which has been there for more than 50 years.

But owner Dick Rowe said that location recently closed, with the photo equipment moved over to the Scott’s Photo by Rowe location on East Avenue. The electronics department is moving over to DAVE Digital Audio Visual Environments at Winton Place.

Rowe said as part of this move, any employees who are not retiring will still be employed at the other locations.

“As Rochester changed, and as Kodak changed, Xerox changed, we had to change,” said Rowe. “So I think this is a really, really good move. It’s a great move for the employees. Nobody lost their jobs, and everybody seems to be very happy.”

Rowe, who turns 75 this year, said he’s not completely retiring, and he said this change in the operation will give him time to sort through photos taken by his grandfather, who started the business in 1898.

“I want to sort through it, and it’s been my dream, to do like a coffee table book of images that have never been seen before,” Rowe said. “I’ll be honest with you at this moment, I’m not sure of the direction it’s going to go into.”

The building Rowe had occupied on Mt. Hope will be torn down, and plans are for a Taco Bell to eventually fill that space.

The owner of DAVE Digital Audio Visual Environments, David Lane, said that he and Dick Rowe operated similar types of businesses, so this was a good match.

“I always respected his business and then he did a good job of providing service for his customers,” said Lane. “And he did to us as well, which was why he wanted to send his customers to a store he believed could give the same type of service.”

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.