Our favorite video store, Black Dog Video, is closing and I feel sad about it. You couldn’t have asked for nicer staff and the selection was a cinephile’s dream. Over the years we rented everything from Agnes Varda to Pee Wee Herman there. My children experienced the autonomy of physically roaming the aisles and selecting exactly what they wished to watch. Ponyo. The Gold Rush. Star Wars. A Night At the Opera. Garfield. Occasionally this led to protracted debates. Often we walked out with something entirely unexpected. Sometimes we’d fall in love with a movie and rent it again and again. It didn’t matter that it made no fiscal sense to have spent $50 on one DVD rental.
Today I went to Black Dog’s closing sale. The Kurosawa shelf was cleared. The Criterion collection had gaping holes. I ended up choosing a few docs. As I stood in line, the owner was saying how happy he was that the films were going to good homes. It felt a bit like he was giving away his children.
A cultural era ends and it always feels strange and soberly communal to be among those marking its passing. I’m glad I stopped by. Goodbye video store. Goodbye fellow movie trawlers. You will be missed.