Welcome to Black Dog’s new and (hopefully) improved blog. We aim to entertain and inform you on all the comings and goings at the store, on the big and small screen and whatever else tickles our fancy. Please enjoy responsibly.

The Black Dog Video Newsletter: So Many Things Edition!

Hi everybody! It’s been a while since I yakked at you. I miss you all and everything about the Black Dog experience (almost everything) so it’s nice to sit down and tell you what’s happening.

We just launched the new updated website! I’ve been adding lots of films for purchase, new and used (Go to the Home section). Check it out here! I’ll be adding more of the films we had left over from the sale all the time. There’s still lots of great titles left, lots of rare, out-of-print lovelies, and I’ve made the prices as awesome as I could (starting at $6!)! For the previously viewed stuff, I only have one copy of each title so first come first serve. You can order and pre-order new films being released as well. If there’s something you’re looking for but don’t see, send me a note and I’ll see what I can do.

Also, we have a new episode of the podcast! Listen in as your favourite hosts sign up for Starship Troopers! We had a blast with this one and I think you might as well.

Also, we have lots of Studio Ghibli socks in stock, I have but one Black Dog mug left and we should have a brand new T-shirt design soon as well as re-upping on the classic “Dogtropolis” design.

Also, my good buddy Shawn is responsible for the cool Black Dog website and he’s looking for more clients. He does good work. If you like what you see, check out his website here.

One more thing – I’ve had a few former customers express their sadness over not getting recommendations for films (and the shop being closed, of course). If you’re interested, follow me on Letterboxd or feel free to email me and I’ll give you something to seek out.

I think that’s it for this edition, my lovelies. I hope that everyone is doing OK out there. Talk soon. xoxo

Copyright © 2022 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

Podcast episode #63 – Event Horizon!

We’re back with a new episode of the podcast! Alex couldn’t make it – he had to clean out the eels from his hovercraft – so we had a pinch hitter step in! Listen in as local raconteur Axel Matfin joins Dylan and I to discuss Event Horizon! And Forest Gump for some reason. Enjoy!

https://www.buzzsprout.com/1529882/11232055-63-event-horizon-1997-with-guest-axel-maffin?fbclid=IwAR0YqC2aCmjvRp9pl2p7lU1Lc21BQyN4lnjpH3jQbp21E0X8i9mb_rEMcmY

All the Podcasts in the World!

I’ve recently noticed that not all of our fine podcasts are listed on the site here. Not too sure why. Lousy technology. But here’s a link to them all!

https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/the-black-dog-video-after-dark-podcast/id1537807586

The Black Dog Newsletter: Cover Those Feet Edition!

Hey, looky-looky, we just got a new shipment of the famed Studio Ghibli socks back in stock! Only $10 a pair (yes you get two socks!) and $3 shipping anywhere in Canada. For local pickup, I can meet you on the Drive pretty much anytime in Spy vs Spy fashion.

I only have a few mugs left so jump on those as well. And a couple of new T-shirt designs are on the way! Exciting times despite us not existing in real life anymore.

Speaking of real life, Soulessenatials opens this Saturday in our old location. Very nice folks and, despite it looking weird and sad every time I walk by the old place, I hope they do well!

I’ve added a bunch of upcoming releases to the website (still in the process of making it more user friendly) if you want to add to your collection –https://www.facebook.com/blackdogvideo
If you need/want anything else, let me know –

One more thing – Josie ran into a customer on the street the other day who feels bad he never paid up his outstanding late charges and wanted to make amends. If your guilty conscience is keeping you up at night, you can take care of this as well. See above email.

I miss you all very much and I hope everyone is doing excellent! Talk soon.

 

Copyright © 2022 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

The Black Dog Video Newsletter: Faded Beauty Edition!

So, this is the official last photo ever taken of this faded beauty of a movie store. Sad to see it go but I wish all the best to the new folks taking it over (a record store plus shop). They are very nice people and I think it will be a good fit for the Drive.

I have one more copy of each of these for sale. Out of the Blue – Blu Ray. Beatles – DVD. Hit me up while you can. And if there’s anything you want to buy, let me know..

 

We also got a new shipment of the famous In Dog We Trust mugs back in stock. Can be purchased through the website. If you choose “local pickup”, I can meet you on the Drive to exchange goods as the shipping is fairly expensive. Same goes for films and such.

Also more Studio Ghibli socks are on the way as are a couple of T-shirts designs. Stay tuned!

One more thing! The website is currently being redone so I can start adding items we have left over from the sale. Here’s a taste…

 

So long, you feisty little scamp you…

 

Copyright © 2022 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

The Black Dog Video Newsletter! Out of the Blue and Into Your Home Edition!

Just a shorty this time around…For some reason it seems that folks are still interested in our story. Here’s quite an excellent little video about the waning days of the shop. If I look tired in it, it’s because I was tired.

Arriving this week to add to your collection!

Out of the Blue – A Vancouver favourite! Dennis Hopper directs & stars in this story of a young girl, whose father is an ex-convict and whose mother is a junkie, who finds it difficult to conform and tries to find comfort in a quirky combination of Elvis and the punk scene. Fancy New 4K Restoration! Blu Ray (DVDs and 4K can be ordered)!

Also have a DVD left of The Beatles: Get Back! Blu Rays can also be ordered!

The new re-tooled website should be up and running soon with tons of great films for sale. Stay tuned!

That’s if for this week, my lovelies. Hope you are well. Miss you all!

Copyright © 2022 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

A Look Back, A Step Forward!

As the sun sets and we lock up the gate for the last time, I thought it might be of cool to look back where all this started. And why. And how…

The year was 1995, Batman Forever wormed its way into top spot in the theatres, “I’d Lie for You (And That’s the Truth)” by Meatloaf topped the musical charts and this fresh-faced, 30-year-old kid with a full head of hair, just got off the boat from Ontario.

After moving into the lovely Cambie hood (rented an entire house for $1100!) I became quickly disillusioned with the lack of quality video stores in my neighbourhood. I would spend 45 minutes in (shudder) Blockbuster or Mega Movies and leave empty handed. Ugh. What’s a movie lover to do? After consulting with my friend/guru Larry on a road trip through the southern US (won’t be doing that again anytime soon), I decided to try my hand at opening my own business. Was I nuts? Maybe! What did I know about running a business? Nothing! Except that I knew a bit about film, and I also knew what kind of shop I wanted to present to the public. Something I thought was cool. Something comfortable, safe and welcoming. A little piece of me.

March 5, 1996, saw the official opening of Black Dog Video on Cambie Street. Armed with 800 movies in my arsenal and a floor covered in Astroturf, we were a hit right off the bat! I remember staying up into the wee hours of the morning the night before getting “dog biscuit tags” ready. I thought it would be a neat idea to write the movie numbers on dog biscuits that folks could bring up to the desk to get the corresponding movie. What I did not anticipate was the dog that came in 20 minutes after opening who ate 5-6 of these “tags” before I could stop him. Oh well. Still a great day!

Two years later we moved across the street into a bigger and better location. Business took off quickly and we added hundreds and then thousands of more films to the collection. I put a request book on the desk and was promptly flooded with tons of great suggestions and it became an invaluable part of the shop. I learned very quickly that my film knowledge was not as great as I thought it was.

We had many ups – late night parties, a fund-raiser were 2 guys played Asteroids in the shop for 24 hours, an art gallery in the front window, did I mention parties? – and downs – the passing of our good friend, John Skibinski was a terrible shock. Still miss that guy. The fire in 2004 that destroyed our VHS collection and put us out of business for a few months (it turned into a bit of a blessing as we replaced the tapes with DVDs with the insurance money). The “Rav Hole” construction slowed things down (and cracked the shop’s foundation) and then ultimately the advent of the mediocre streaming services finally sealed the deal. But not before we opened a second shop…

The year was 2005, Star Wars Episode Whatever ruled the box office, the Black-Eyed Peas “My Humps” dominated the airwaves and I was about to welcome two fresh babies into my life. The first was in the form of an actual human flesh baby – my awesome sprog, Gus. The second was in the form of an unwanted, neglected trash baby that was a previous video store on Commercial Drive which we took over that fall.

The Cambie shop had been humming along for 9 years to much success but was a little hesitant about opening another shop on the Drive as there was already four or five video stores here.

But my fears were to be unfounded as this shop was an even bigger hit then the Cambie location (sorry other Drive video stores). Things were good (for the most part – a rock through the front window on Christmas morning wasn’t as much fun as it sounds), we had bought a house in the hood and we had a good staff to help me navigate the strange, edgy East Van crowd. It was a wild and crazy time. I could tell you stories.

Fast forward almost 17 years later and here we are. The end of an era. The writing seemed to be on the wall when all the other shops around town started closing about 10 years ago. Stupid, lame streaming services was to be the undoing of us all. Convenience wins out over quality once again. I was going to close the Cambie shop during the pandemic in 2020 but one of my employees, RJ asked if he could buy it and give it a go. Who was I to say no? I could have made a lot more money shutting it down and selling the stock, but I would have rather seen it go into good loving hands.

A couple of years later, the pandemic still pandemicing, the subsidies and grant money that kept us afloat for the past couple of years dried up, and business kept heading in the wrong direction. It was time.

Closing the shop was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. It broke my heart. As it did the long-suffering staff. And a lot of customers. The response, the outpouring of love and sadness was overwhelming and amazing. It touched the grey, dank recesses of this old man’s heart. I was amazed that we stuck it out as long as we did (mainly due to my stubbornness, the amazing selection of films that we provided and the willingness of enough of you lovely folks to help keep the lights on and the doors open. That and the fact my wife had an actual paying job so I could indulge in my dream).

My passion never wavered for this job – even in the face of various hardships. It was the same with the staff, many of whom I’ve become and remained good friends with (of course there were a few duds in there, but they will remain nameless). We just loved doing this job.

What’s next you ask? Well, we’ll still be living online and haunting your dreams. I have quite a few gems to sell and will be adding more swag and films as we move boldly into the future. The podcast will continue, so listen in! And don’t forget RJ over at Video Cat on Cambie (just ignore the awning). Give him your movie love or that will be it for video stores in Vancouver.

I could go on and on about this wonderful dream I had. The fact that I got to live it for over 26 years means quite a lot to me. It’s hard to put into words. I just want to thank you all – all the great staff, all the excellent customers that I’ve met – most of my friends have some connection to the shops – and to Vancouver for letting me be a part of this fine city and its culture. Gonna miss it all fiercely.

 

Hugs and kisses.

Aaaannndd, we’re done….

 

So that’s all folks. Store is closed for good. We will be living online via the website and the socials as we boldly step into the future. Stayed tuned and check in here for updates on what will be happening. I’m going to do up a eulogy of sorts later this week (when I get some energy). Until then, a big heart-felt thank-you to everyone who came through our doors looking for the best films the world had to offer. We love you all!

Two Days Left!

We’re not here to tell you what to do but we are here to tell you that today is the second last day that Black Dog Video will be open. Come on in, share a thought, buy a movie, say goodbye.

Open Noon till 8pm today

and

Noon till 5PM tomorrow.

Movies for only $2!

It’s the last of everything week! Today is the last ever Monday Black Dog Video will be open for business. Grey days indeed. To help put a smile on your faces we’ve put tons of films up for sale for only $2! Two dollars! Come see what we have for you!

#Vancouver #movies #lastdays