Today is the 11th Annual International Independent Video Store Day! I had a customer ask me if this Day is a real thing or a made up thing. I replied both. It’s real and made up – like all holidays and celebrations. The reason for this event is to celebrate the wonders of the video store. Sadly, our numbers get fewer and fewer as each year passes but there is still a small number of us brave souls who refuse to give up the ghost. We’re definitely not in it for the money (hah) but for our love of movies and, what we feel, the importance of providing and maintaining a great collection of the history of film.
In this age of streaming our place in the cinematic landscape is becoming more and more important to those who truly love movies. Sure you can binge watch fleetingly popular series like Shrimp Fight, The Crown’s Grumble and 80’s Nostalgic Horror Show, but if you love films the streaming services are not your friends. Their quantity and, especially, quality of their film catalogue continues to dwindle as they pour their tax-free dollars into original programming. We work hard to provide the best in world cinema – most of which you cannot find on the internets. I had a message the other day that a fellow couldn’t find a certain film (The Beyond) anywhere on the streaming devices (I get that a lot) so he asked us and, of course, we had it. We more often then not do. What’s going to happen when there are no more video stores? I guess there’s a chance that a big chunk of film history will be lost forever. Maybe the streaming giants will eventually have most of everything but I doubt it. They don’t seem interested in films much at all.
I’m not saying you should dump the streams and come back to us. I am saying that we provide a great, inexpensive, quality service that they cannot and that we can all live side by side. You like film, you talk to us or your local shop. We have the catalogue, the knowledge and the enthusiasm to set you up.
So on this Video Store Day, pop into our shop and say hi. Pick up a film, maybe a T-shirt or a mug. Sign up for monthly memberships on our new site. Say hi to RJ over at Video Cat on Cambie. If you’re in Edmonton, Kevin runs a great store called The Lobby. Kent in Victoria has the wonderful Pic-a-Flic. Daniel out in Toronto runs the awesome Eyesore Cinema. Say hi to former Black Dogger, Bjorn, at Bay Street Video in Toronto. Or make an effort to support whatever shop you may have left in your town. They need you and I think you may need them.