THEY WERE the machines on which the soundtrack to three generations was played.
But in an era of digital downloads, the traditional jukebox, without which no self-respecting coffee house was once complete, has fallen largely silent.
Now, a Leeds company is hoping to change that, with the launch of what it believes is the world’s first new vinyl jukebox for two decades.
The hand-made Rocket, which can play the A and B sides of 70 discs, will sell for £8,000.
Chris Black, whose Leeds firm Sound Leisure is behind the product, said he hoped the recent revival of vinyl records would fuel demand.
“There is a huge list of people who are interested in our prototype,” he added.
The new jukebox can select from 70 vinyl records with a 140 selection, A and B sides, and will boast modern touches with bluetooth connection – but it wasn’t an easy task to drag something so classic into a contemporary world.
Mr Black drafted in a team of veteran engineers to create the disc-changing mechanism, including his father Alan, 71, who worked on the company’s first vinyl jukebox in 1980.
He said: “In the beginning it was quite difficult to find people with the skills and knowledge to be able to manufacture a jukebox that could accommodate 45s.
“We ran the original vinyl jukebox from 1980 to the early 90s and there was a cross over with CD and vinyl, and obviously CDs took off and bars wanted to have more selections with 30,000 tracks on rather than just a few hundred.
“Technology has advanced a lot over the years and the player mechanism looks a lot similar – but now we have things like octos instead of microswitches.”
The new model includes one concession to the 21st century – a Bluetooth connection to play music from a mobile phone.
Chris added that he was “extremely excited” about the new player.
How the vinyl revival unfolded
Despite vinyl records being deemed by some as antiques, there is still a desire for vinyl after HMV announced that they sold one record deck per minute in the run-up to Christmas 2015.
Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s announced earlier this year stock vinyl records for the first time since the 1980s.
It follows a similar move by Tesco.
Demand for vinyl records increased by 64 per cent last year.