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Confessions of a former video store clerk

Confessions of a former video store clerk

Yeah, it’s true. I went to the Quentin-Tarantino-school-of-cinema studies, and worked behind the counter of a video store. This was in the 90s, before Netflix and online streaming. Man, was it fun. Every Tuesday was Christmas when the new arrivals would come in and we would arrange the boxes on the shelves. All the while I was a sponge, learning about the business and borrowing multiple selections to watch at home. I loved talking to the customers and making recommendations.

Some people came in just to talk to me about movies. It was a great place to hang out with like-minded folks.

In 2005, I wrote a feature on how Evergreen Video and the business in general was struggling to remain viable. Two years later, Evergreen closed.

There’s been a lot of press on the recent closing of Mondo Kim’s. To tell you the truth, I never spent much time there because of the snarling clerks. The cultivated bad attitude continued in Kim’s catalogs, where pages were covered with intentional typos.

Over the years, I have succumbed to modern conveniences, but I miss the camaraderie of the video store environment.

This past weekend I needed to rent a couple of obscure titles quickly and headed over to World of Video. It was nice to see a busy operation. I asked one of the managers, Sean Gallagher, how business was. He said it was pretty good given the state of the economy, and that it all depended on what new movies had come in. He said that March 10 will be a big day when Milk, Let the Right One In, and Happy-Go-Lucky hit the shelves.

Owner Linda Samuels came out from the back office to add that the video store, now in its 26th (!) year, is thriving. They still rent VHS tapes along with DVDs and like many other stores, make a profit from “adult” fare.

02-16-09: My local store, World of Video in Greenwich Village, and manager Sean Gallagher

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