SACRAMENTO, CA (CBS NEWS) – For years, Tower Records served as a go-to spot for all things music. But the era of seemingly endless racks of records, cassettes and CDs ended in 2006 after the Sacramento-based company filed for bankruptcy, shuttering its stores around the globe.

That story will come to life on the big screen this weekend in the form of documentary directed by Colin Hanks, star of the CBS sitcom, “Life in Pieces.”


It’s a story that has a lot of heart, Hanks says. In fact, the actor, who’s making his first major foray into filmmaking with a documentary about the store, says the fall of Tower Records is a lot more nuanced than the simple notion that “the Internet killed Tower Records.”

“There’s a lot more to the company than just that,” Hanks told CBS News. “It had an incredible history that went on for almost 40 years.”

Seven years in the making, “All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records” chronicles the rise of Tower Records (established in 1960) and it also investigates the company’s tumultuous journey from a $1 billion dollar year in 1999 to their 2006 bankruptcy filing.

“A lot of people have their own remembrances of the store. And that’s what really made that place unique,” he said. “But ultimately the film is really about this guy Russ Solomon and what he was able to accomplish. And the fact that he started selling used 78s out of his father’s drug store in the ’40s and then ended up opening 200 stores around the world. And the manner in which that was done was not nearly as professional as one would think.”

Featuring interviews and appearances by the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Elton John, “All Things Must Pass” also delves into the employees — the people who helped it grow.

“It’s basically this rag tag group of people who came together and formed a family and had an absolute blast doing it. There’s a really interesting narrative throughout the whole thing and hopefully people will be surprised at the story,” said Hanks.

Check out the video at for our sit-down interview with Hanks about the making of the film, which premiered earlier this year at South by Southwest and will open in theaters on Friday.

– Lauren Moraski

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