- 1 hr 30 min
Empire Records is a coming-of-age tale set in Delaware that follows the misfit employees of an independent record store. The story covers one day in the life of Empire Records' employees as they struggle to keep their store from being taken over by corporate giant Music Town and survive "Rex Manning Day." The film opens with Joe (played by Anthony LaPaglia) finally giving long-time employee Lucas (played by Rory Cochrane) the important task of closing the store. All is going well for Lucas until he finds paperwork that implies that the store's owner, Mitchell Beck (played by Ben Bodé), is going to be selling Empire Records to Music Town, a large chain record store. Lucas doesn't want this to happen and hatches the plan to take the day's cash and gamble it in Atlantic City in order to give Joe enough money to buy the store and stop Mitchell. Lucas's plan fails miserably when he loses all of the cash. Joe is furious with Lucas, but not wanting him to go to jail, covers for him with Mitchell. He then tells the rest of the staff that Empire Records will be turning into a Music Town, meaning most of the employees will be out of a job. This upsets the employees, but they don't have time to deal with the buyout as they have other problems to handle first. These problems include dealing with a visit from fading music legend Rex Manning (played by Maxwell Caulfield), a young shoplifter (played by Brendan Sexton III) and music store employee Deb's (played by Robin Tunney) suicide attempt. In the end the store is saved by the employees putting on a roof-top concert led by Berko (played by Coyote Shivers) and Gina (played by Renée Zellweger). Mitchell finally agrees to sell Empire Records to Joe rather than handing it over to Music Town.