The Last Of A Dying Breed


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.

Not our store.

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.

13 thoughts on “The Last Of A Dying Breed

  1. Awwwe, how sad. I have seen many neighborhood video stores go out of business as well. Its kind of funny but i think all those places closed down after i moved out of the neighborhood and then i go back and visit and think ‘hmmm, guess thats gone. You painted a picture of what probably went down while i was gone.

  2. The last video store that was hanging on in the local town near me closed a couple of months ago as well.
    A lot of nostalgia in this post. For me, my early 20’s were 8 track tapes (that preceded the cassettes), and in my teens, it was the vinyl records (the full length LP’s, and the one song “45’s”)
    Vinyl records had such a quality sound, but they have made a small comeback the last few years by a few producers. 🙂
    Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  3. They are disappearing quickly here. When my kids were really young, I’d take them to the video store and they’d run and buy some candy first, then check out what movie they wanted to watch. They really looked forward to that each week. While ‘on demand’ is very convenient, it does devalue the content in the sense that it’s no longer special. Like getting a glass of water from the faucet, I suppose.

    • It really is all about the experience. Not too many memories to be made by scrolling through a screen. I guess we’ll all have to get more creative. 🙂

  4. I remember, as a teenager, spending the night in a sleeping bag with a group of my friends outside of Night Winds, our local video store, to get concert tickets, or get the newest movie release the second the store opened for business because it was the only way to get a movie as soon as it was released on video without a long wait. I loved browsing the aisles of movies, renting something new and also an old favorite you forgot about until you saw the cover of the VHS jacket. Good times. 😦

  5. I know why here the adult video store is still open… You can rent a cabin and watch the movie there!!! You never see a guy walking with a box out of the door 😀

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s