When we pulled up to our local, independently run video store, my heart sank as I noticed a cardboard sign on the door stating “Everything’s for sale”. “No, no, no” I cried as my partner reacted and inspected me for an attacking bee. I pointed to the sign and watched as the light dimmed from his bright blue eyes. He introduced me to this place nearly a decade ago. In fact, we went there after our first date. Somehow this place had managed to outlast even Blockbuster. It was truly the last of a dying breed.
We walked into the already half empty store like we were walking into the wake of a dear friend. The store clerk Claire, greeted us as usual with her warm smile and kind green eyes that looked a bit puffed from fresh tears. I wanted to hug her but I’m not a big hugger, so I embraced her with conversation and inquiries about her future plans. She assured me she was going to be okay and that she and all but one employee had other work.
I was relieved by the information but now I’m feeling so nostalgic. Much like my generation only had a vague understanding of the term 5 and dime, this generation will scratch their heads when their parents recall going to video stores. They’ll also probably ask “what’s a video”?
Somehow, adult video stores have managed to hang on. This really perplexes me. If you can download naughty content in the privacy of your own home, why do men and (I guess) women run enough risk of being spotted to keep the porn shops in business? That’s just a side note but it does wonder me.
In my lifetime, I’ve said goodbye to cassette tapes, Walkman, VHS tapes, VCR’s, Discman and drive-in movie theatres. All of these things (except the drive-in) were easy to say goodbye to because they were replaced with better and more user friendly technology.
You simply can’t replace the human experience and that is what will make me sorely miss North American Video.
Thanks for the conversations, the movie recommendations and the waiving of late fees.
Goodbye old friend.