Local business ARC TV and Art Gallery in Burbank has been open for 30 years this month. “Things sure have changed since we began. Who would have thought that we would have survived this long?” owner Bill Czappa says. “There have been many challenges for a small business especially in the last few years; big box stores opening up and prices of new electronics plummeting. But we have found our niche and offer services that hardly anyone else does.”
When Bill sees a need they try to fill it. Besides repairing all the newer types of TV sets from plasma, LCD, and older picture tube sets too, they are one of the few stores that still work on vintage TV’s, radios, and phonographs from the ‘50s. “It is surprising how many people still use a VCR to record their shows,” Bill says, “and record players have never stopped coming in.”
They have expanded into videotape duplication and are one of the few stores to also duplicate audiotape to CD from reel to reel or cassette. “We began fixing lamps and small appliances from toasters to hair dryers many years ago; it was a logical thing for us to go into.” They even post things for their customers on EBay. Bill says today you have to diversify.
Bill discovered that many people don’t believe that if something breaks you go out and replace it. Many customers have found out the hard way that the new item you buy may not be made as well as the one that just broke. Furthermore, many things are very easily repaired. Over 60% of DVD or CD players and VCRS just need to be cleaned and lubed. “Would you buy a new car because it got dirty?” Bill says, “Lamps usually just need a new socket and hair dryers, curling iron, and irons often just need a new cord.”
And how did ARC become an art gallery? Well, Bill has always made art and from the first day he opened in 1983 he hung up his first artwork. So ARC is now the oldest art gallery in Burbank and possibly the entire Valley. There is just so much to see in their 1,700-square-foot shop with some 70 pieces hanging between or sitting on the TV sets, people come just to see the art. Recently an art book publisher discovered Bill and his work and is publishing a 100-page book with 110 photos of his work. The gallery is open free to the public 6 days a week.
Bill is also a writer and over 25 of his short stories have been published in this newspaper and others over the years. You can see his work and read his very humorous and popular short stories on their website at arctv.net. For more information call (818) 848-9998 or stop by 2529 W. Magnolia Blvd. in Burbank.