One of the best things about my neighborhood in Brooklyn Heights was the little video store on Henry St called Brooklyn Heights Video, run by Marty (last name, I’ve now learned, Arno), a real cinephile who knew as much about French auteur films as the latest Hollywood release (and always seemed to staff his store with young women of impeccable film taste.) The shop closed a couple weeks ago, and I don’t know why — especially if audiences are preferring video to theaters nowadays. Since the store is no more, I guess I can also say that I loved the fact that there was a copy of Lars von Trier’s “Dogville” there weeks before it was released in the U.S. For foreign and art-house films, there is nothing in the area that came close.
I’ve Googled Marty and I haven’t found any news stories about what happened. I can only suspect that Netflix may have contributed to the closure, since Heights Video catered to a similar “sophisticated” clientelle. According to the Wall Street Journal, Blockbuster might be next. Rental revenues fell 7.9%, reported the Journal, “a sign the long-term decline in the video-rental market is worsening. Consumers are increasingly using alternatives, such as video on demand offered by cable firms or NetFlix Inc., the DVD-by-mail rental service.” If anyone knows what happened to Marty, please let me know.