It’s not all about digital music: An old vinyl record factory gets new life

The factory floor at SunPress Vinyl, a vinyl record pressing plant in Opa-Locka.
The factory floor at SunPress Vinyl, a vinyl record pressing plant in Opa-Locka.

Bob Marley pressed some of his records there. So did 2 Live Crew, Mary J. Blige, Lee “Scratch” Perry and 50 Cent.

Now the former Final Vinyl record factory, founded in Opa-locka in the 1970s by Jamaican reggae producer Joe Gibbs as his base of U.S. operations, is reopening for business under a new name.

SunPress Vinyl, a vinyl record pressing plant at 14097 NW 19th Ave., boasts six pressing machines, including one capable of producing multi-colored and picture discs. The facility will also offer complete packaging services such as labels, single or gatefold jackets and inner sleeves.

“Bring us an audio recording and your artwork and we’ll give you a vinyl record,” says music producer Dan Yashiv, president of SunPress Vinyl. “[We are] committed to extending the long vinyl legacy in Miami, and restoring a vibrant hub for the production of beautiful, analogue music.”

The new company is a joint venture between Yashiv, film producer Stephen Hays (“What Maisie Knew”) and former executive vice president of Sony Music Dan Pelson.

SunPress has already entered a partnership with Tuff Gong International, the Marley estate’s Jamaican music label. The company will reissue Bob Marley albums and third-party releases using the Miami facility.

The unlikely rebirth of the vinyl LP album has snowballed into something greater than a passing fad. In 2016, 13.1 million vinyl records were sold in the U.S., the highest figure in 25 years.

That number is still a tiny blip compared to vinyl’s peak popularity of more than a billion sales in 1981. But industry analysts project the niche product to continue its seventh consecutive year of double-digit growth in 2017, with sales expected to top $1 billion.