The Black Dog Newsletter: This is the End Edition!

This is easily the most difficult newsletter I’ve had to write. Here it goes…

After 26 years in this business (16.5 on the Drive) it is with the heaviest of hearts and the saddest of sads, that I must announce that Black Dog Video is closing. It’s been a long time coming but it’s finally time to rip that band-aid off and pull the trigger so to speak. Business has been on a decline for years while costs – rent, etc – have steadily risen. We just can’t feasibly stay open any longer. We lost the war to, what I call, the “convenience of mediocrity” that is streaming et all. Unless some kind of miracle comes along – maybe a wealthy benefactor takes us under their wing or a long-lost relative wills me their fortune (yes, I’m willing to spend a night in a haunted house!) then we will be closing our doors come the end of June (tentative date as I’m on the hook with my lease until February). We are currently pricing the stock (what a sad arduous task that is!) and we’re aiming for May 1st May 22nd to make it available to the public for purchase. It pains me just to write that.

It breaks my (and the staff’s) hearts to have to do this as I’ve loved this job and feel damn lucky and privileged to have been able to bring the world of cinema to Vancouver for so long. It’s going to be a difficult next few months.

I want to thank all of you who came through our doors over the years and especially the ones who stuck with us till the end – a proper eulogy is still to come. Dark days indeed.

That said we still have some new films hitting the shelves today or tomorrow.

New Releases!


Cyrano – The awesome Peter Dinklage stars in this often told tale of a shy fella unable to woo the woman of his dreams. Make a great double bill with Roxanne.

Jackass Forever – What can you say, even as old men, they still act like teenage boys. That said, I’ve always loved these stupid movies.

The King’s Daughter – King Louis XIV captures a mermaid to extract her mermaidy-life force or something like that. Not a documentary. Make a great double bill with Lifeforce.

V/H/S/ 94 – Pretty fun horror short film compilation. If you’re into the V/H/S series (which I am) check it out.

Coming Soon!

(We’ll continue to bring in rental New Releases until the beginning of June)

Licorice Pizza
The Batman
Succession S 3
Everything Everywhere All at Once

We will continue doing sales – I’m going to keep the online portion of the business going so please fell free to order up whatever you like!

Sorry to ruin everyone’s long weekend, but there ya go. Hoping to see ya’ll in the near future!

Be good to everyone out there.

Copyright © 2022 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

15 replies
  1. Mella
    Mella says:

    Hi, I’m so so so heartbroken to see you go. Is there any way you could set up a Patreon or a fundraiser to maintain rent? I’d be so happy to help if that were the case. If not, would it be possible to donate the titles to an archive or library? Some of your titles are so rare and I would be devastated to lose access to them ):

    • Darren
      Darren says:

      We did an Indigogo about 8 years ago and, while it helped us out at the time, I didn’t like the feeling of asking folks for money for my business. And it would only be a temporary solution as well. But thanks for thinking of us!

  2. Michelle
    Michelle says:

    Have you thought of doing a gofund me or a Kickstarter? It is such a shame to have a business like yours go out of business. It wouldn’t hurt to try…

    • Darren
      Darren says:

      We did an Indigogo about 8 years ago and, while it helped us out at the time, I didn’t like the feeling of asking folks for money for my business. And it would only be a temporary solution as well. But thanks for thinking of us!

  3. Devon Bradbury
    Devon Bradbury says:

    What a truly horrible scenario for you, your staff and everybody who you’ve served over these years. I know that is been a hard go lately, and commend you for hanging on for so long. I look forward to that wealthy benefactor;)
    I wanted to thank you for all those occasions where you kept me sane. Thank you.

  4. John
    John says:

    Darren, maybe I’m missing something here, but you don’t seem to be losing the ability to allow customers to rent your videos when you close your shop, you’re just losing the ability to rent the videos out on disks (and/or tapes, I suppose) and make money for doing so. If you’ve really got some unique films that aren’t available elsewhere any more, why don’t you digitize at least that portion of your whole collection, and offer them as, yes, a streaming service? As I understand it (but realizing that I’m not a lawyer, and I don’t even play one on television), so long as you’re only renting your films for private viewing but not actually offering them for sale, you wouldn’t be violating any copyright laws by doing this.

    Think of this not as a changing of the service you offer customers, but just giving you a different way to deliver the films to your customers for viewing at their pleasure – put a time limit on the rentals, and you should be good to go, I think.

    Just my C$0.02 …


  5. Linda and Bilĺ Ùnwin
    Linda and Bilĺ Ùnwin says:

    Sorry to hear your news, Black Dog. Bill and i just shut down Sundance Video in Oĺiver, in the Okanagan, after 24 years, at the end of October. Like you, although we still had some loyaĺ customers, it just wasn’t feasible fiñancially to keep it going. It was the hardest thing we ever had to do. We wish you good luck with your closing, and any future endeavours.
    Linda and Bill Unwin

  6. Nico
    Nico says:

    Oh, fuck a duck. *The cursor just blinks away as author of post tries to articulate the morose feeling of the heart*

  7. Georgia
    Georgia says:

    I am so sad and sorry to hear that Black Dog video is closing. It has been a wonderful, local community business in East Van for many years. It houses a fantastic and significant collection of cinematic history and offers the opportunity to see films not available elsewhere or only in academic settings. The staff are also real cinephiles and very knowledgeable about films. Darren – are you ready to close up shop or could we all put our thinking caps on and come up with way to continue the business in a different format? What if the business went online for browsing and renting and a local business had the space/ a room to store the collection for affordable rental fee? How about the Rio venue? It is a movie theatre and performance space. I believe one of your staff also works there. So no longer a store front business. Rentals paid in advance could then be picked up and returned. Maybe even a locker- type set up somewhere inside the theatre. It would reduce costs and also staff requirements and available opening hours but still a way to continue. Just some ideas…

    • Darren
      Darren says:

      Hi Georgia,

      Thanks for the kind words. We’ve wracked our brains trying to figure out a way to save everything but nothing really feasible has raised it’s head. Maybe I should go check that lottery ticket I bought?!




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