Just last week, Indiewire ran a popular interview independent filmmaker Alex Ross Perry (“The Color Wheel”) did with Joe Martin, the longtime proprietor of Brooklyn rental store Reel Life, which closed its doors at the end of last month. The piece struck a chord with our readers, many of whom lamented the loss of independently run video stores.
And then, around the time we published the feature, Manhattan’s beloved video store, World of Video, also announced they will be closing shop.
As of this month, the store — founded by Linda Samuels, Mitchell Pickman and Charlie Grappone — has been serving customers for a whopping 29 years. They’re now located at 51 Greenwich Avenue in the West Village, following a move from a previous location nearby.
“The writing was on the wall depending on the rent here,” Samuels said from the store, which closes April 28. “Even with a smaller location, the rent was just too high to continue the business. It’s just the way things are. The landlords are entitled to get what they can. The problem is it hurts the independent store owner.”
Samuels said she accounts her business’ longstanding success to her staff, many of whom are or were film students (“everyone had their own niche, their own genre”) and to the West Village neighborhood.
“We’ve seen families; the little ones come in, and now they’re getting married,” she laughed. “For a lot of the customers, coming here two to three times a week is really routine. They’d come here after dinner and talk about movies.
“It hasn’t sunk in that on the 28th of April the doors will close for the last time,” Samuels said. “I think I need time to think about it. I really don’t know what I’ll do after. I enjoy writing children’s books. Maybe I’ll get more involved in that.”
The shop’s now selling its stock. DVDs are on sale for as low as $5 each, while Criterion Collection titles are selling for $18.
To say a proper farewell, World of Video will be hosting a champagne toast on April 18 from 5pm to 8pm.