Saturday, April 28, 2007

End Credits

Just got word today that Astro Video is officially closing its doors May 15. Prices on VHS and DVD couldn't be lower, so I'll definately try to make a few more trips before the Warehouse becomes an eBay dealer exclusively.

Astro Video has been going out of business for almost a year now, so I wasn't suprised when my buddy told me over the phone today. But what did suprise me was the other bit of news he had: Video To Go in Greenfield is also closing down. I called up today and learned that VTG has stopped renting, but will keep the place open for a few more weeks to sell off some stock. The prices are pretty high, but Video To Go is full of treasures.

Good and bad news for a tape fiend like myself, of course.

The mom n' pop video store is really on its death bed, if places as well stocked as Astro and VTG can't even stay open (in an area dense with college students, remember). Shame what's left is the uniformality of the chain and the anonymity of Netflix and torrent sites. I remember hearing a while back that Astro was waiting for one of the big rental players to buy the upstairs space to close, so perhaps soon we'll see that retro-future Astro Video + Video Warehouse sign (with its endearingly ridiculous boast "The world's largest selection") replaced with a Hollywood or Blockbuster logo. While I haven't gotten the chance to actually go into Video To Go (driven by it a few times), I've heard my friends rave about its wide selection of foreign and independent films often. Too bad that the first time I'll step inside of it will probably also be the last.

Well, on the bright side, these kind of sales are always a good way to add to my collection. I can't really afford to blow much cash on tapes and DVDs, but I think I can justify it in this instance, as this might be my last chance to walk down rows and rows of vintage videos at Astro, overwhelmed by the evocative painted covers of obscure horror, post-apocalypse, science fiction and spy films.

Expect a proper eulogy in the next Samurai Dreams

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