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Video store memories?

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Video store memories?

Old 08-07-14, 12:37 PM
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Re: Video store memories?

I remember Erol's and their yellow bags.
Old 08-07-14, 12:37 PM
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Re: Video store memories?

Originally Posted by sauce07 View Post

We also had a adult video section, which was pretty awkward for a 15 year old to deal with (heck, it was weird when I was 20). We didn't hide them in a back room, they were right out in the open in bright yellow boxes with no covers.
Who in their right mind rented porn without being able to see the cover?
Old 08-07-14, 12:53 PM
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Re: Video store memories?

Originally Posted by Timber View Post
Who in their right mind rented porn without being able to see the cover?
A bunch of people. You could go by the title and we told people that all the titles were straight, mostly white people. The owners philosophy was is we created a back room area, then kids would always be trying to sneak in. Putting them right in the middle of the store, without covers, allowed people to quickly walk by and grab a tape.
Old 08-07-14, 01:01 PM
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Re: Video store memories?

We had a couple of independent stores in town when I was younger that my family and I frequented. One was called Video Express and the other was Video to Go. I have more memories of Video to Go and mostly remember when I was younger going there and renting shows I liked as a kid. The big ones that stick out to me are a bunch of Scooby-Doo and He-Man and the Masters of the Universe tapes. Later I got into Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation and would occasionally rent out episodes that were available and the films.

I also remember renting the Back to the Future Trilogy for the first time from there and falling in love with it. In fact the store later sold some of their copies of the films and one year for my birthday my parents got me Back to the Future Part II and Back to the Future Part III from there (I already owned the first one). I still have those tapes and keep them for nostalgia purposes. I also remember being a kid and being intrigued by some of the films I wasn't allowed to watch at the time such as the R rated action films or stuff from the horror section.

Also there were the video games. I remember renting a ton from consoles like the NES, Sega Genesis, Playstation, Playstation 2, and Nintendo 64. There were many times when my mom would take my brother and I on Friday after school to go to the store and pick out some video games or movies for the weekend. I remember renting a bunch of the Mega Man games on NES and a ton of other titles.

Later the main independent place went out of business after losing business to our local Blockbuster. We'd still go there and rent various movies and games though. Blockbuster itself has gone out of business too and funnily enough there are still a couple of independent places in town. I've never been a big fan of the ones that are left though really and never really go to them. Plus now days for the most part I buy what I'm interested in seeing.

Last edited by Mike86; 08-07-14 at 01:09 PM.
Old 08-07-14, 01:03 PM
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Re: Video store memories?

Originally Posted by My Other Self View Post
Your dad bought Beta tapes for a VHS VCR?
Sorry, I am half blind so I thought the picture was of a VHS tape.
Old 08-07-14, 01:08 PM
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Re: Video store memories?

Originally Posted by Jaymole View Post
Sorry, I am half blind so I thought the picture was of a VHS tape.
Sorry, just messing with you since you went to the effort of posting a pic.
Old 08-07-14, 01:21 PM
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Re: Video store memories?

I was in Paris in July and up the block from my hotel was a video store:


They still have lots of VHS on the shelves, including tons of old Hollywood films that you'd never find on the shelves of a typical American store:





Plus, of course, tons of French films:


It was a big store, too.
Old 08-07-14, 01:27 PM
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Re: Video store memories?

I remember going to the local mom and pop video stores with the parents and sneaking off to the horror section and looking at the horror box art for the VHS tapes. Some of them scared the crap out of me.

The VCR my parents bought from Sears in 1983 still works. I just used it to watch my VHS tapes of the Original Star Wars trilogy. The thing weighs more than my 55 inch TV and will probably outlast it and and my PS3 and the Sony BD player that I bought this year.
Old 08-07-14, 01:29 PM
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Re: Video store memories?

It's great reading all these tales.

Originally Posted by iggystar View Post
When I first started working there I wasn't familiar with the direct-to-video market so when someone asked if we had Children of the Corn VI (or whatever was out back then) and telling them in confidence, "Oh, there's no such thing, there are only two Children of the Corn movies."
You told them right! lol

Originally Posted by My Other Self View Post
There's something about old VHS box art that is so different from everything else.


Originally Posted by devilshalo View Post
1) my hazing.. one of the assistant managers called in on one of the lines and they made me answer. He asked about a gay porn movie, had me make sure we had it in stock and I finally caught on when he asked me to describe the box.
Originally Posted by sauce07 View Post
I could never look at him without thinking about all the porn he rented.


Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum View Post
Plus, of course, tons of French films:
Goddamnit. Is that Gance's Napoleon in there? Do I have to go all the way to Paris just to finally see that movie? lol And I see Le Bonheur in there. I just name-checked that movie in the "Movies that age well" thread.

Originally Posted by Dan View Post
I remember renting The People Vs. Larry Flint, and the clerk, who was an older woman, said, "I'm not supposed to let you rent this, because it's rated R, but it's a REALLY good film, and I think you'd actually appreciate it." (or something like that). That was awesome, but I actually didn't like the movie that much.
The only time a clerk was hesitant to let me rent a R-flick was (Of all movies) Harlem Nights. I don't even think I finished the movie. But the one that I was shocked to get away with renting was Henry:Portrait of a Serial Killer. I think I was 15 when it first came out on video and the box had layers of "No one under 17" warnings on it's cover. The clerk didn't even seem to notice. It almost felt like I had bought my first beer.
But we (My best friend and I) played it safe when it came to those Faces of Death flicks. We would get his mom to rent those for us (She just thought they were regular horror movies)
Old 08-07-14, 02:11 PM
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I alway remember actually walking to one to rent a horror flick when my parents were out of town. The old HBO tape of The Evil Dead. The clerk barely spoke English, and asked "are you 17." Not quite, but figuring he'd see right through me, I mumbled "yes." He shrugged; said, "OK," and let me rent the tape .
Old 08-07-14, 02:19 PM
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Re: Video store memories?

I remember going to the mom and pop video stores and music stores and chatting with the owners about films and music. Now you go into store that actually sells movies or music and the college age clerk has no idea what a Pink Floyd is and has never heard of Dark Side Of The Moon.
Old 08-07-14, 02:37 PM
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Re: Video store memories?

Originally Posted by Timber View Post
Who in their right mind rented porn without being able to see the cover?
That's why they called ahead to have me describe the box cover. I now know who Jeff Stryker is. And that Switch Hitter wasn't a film about the MLB.
Old 08-07-14, 03:50 PM
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Re: Video store memories?

I live in SD and Tower Video was my favorite place to buy laserdiscs. There was also a place in Mira Mesa called Laser USA. It had the Japanese laserdisc of Pulp Fiction and Pulp Fiction was still in theaters!

I loved how they had a separate store from Tower Music. I miss Tower so much.
Old 08-07-14, 04:09 PM
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Re: Video store memories?

Originally Posted by Chadm View Post

When I was about 14 me and a buddy quietly snuck into the porn section of a local video store when no one was around in the small suburb I grew up in. Once we were in there we looked and laughed at funny titled porn movies for about 15 minutes, when we wanted to leave the store became busy and we were so embarrassed at the prospect of being seen exiting the porn section that we ended up holing up in there for another 45 minutes until the store emptied and we could exit the saloon style doors unnoticed.
Family Video?
Old 08-07-14, 05:28 PM
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Re: Video store memories?

Originally Posted by FuQ View Post
I miss Tower so much.
Used to always get my Asian Cult digest there.
Old 08-07-14, 05:38 PM
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Re: Video store memories?

Originally Posted by Jackskeleton View Post
Speaking as a former employee of a video chain - most every one was filled with pretentious film school drop out douche bags who thought anything the average person enjoyed was below them.

I guess they all migrated to the internet message boards.

Old 08-07-14, 05:42 PM
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Re: Video store memories?

Originally Posted by mhg83 View Post
Family Video?
Videoland.
Old 08-07-14, 06:33 PM
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Re: Video store memories?

Oooh, I want to play!

- My family's first video store membership was at Erol's Video. I still remember their commercial jingle. First two movies we rented: Gremlins and The Natural. On Betamax.

- I remember being insanely excited that I could rent VHS tapes that contained four or five episodes of ThunderCats and He-Man. Without commercials. And I could watch them over and over again. Without. Commercials.

- My dad had a strict no-rated-R policy in our house. My older brother somehow convinced him that unrated was less extreme than R. And thus we were introduced to The Evil Dead. Luckily for my brother, our TV was on its last legs, so the tree rape scene was too dark to really see what was going on. In fact, the dark picture actually made the movie scarier. My dad got bored and left the room before the extreme gore really started. It was a revelation, and I barely slept that night.

- As a teen, one of my first jobs was for a local video store. Loved it. Free screeners, and discounted rentals on weekdays. With my brother and I both having retail jobs, we were frequently home by ourselves during the day. We'd watch at least one horror movie every day. Most of them were awful. Rawhead Rex anyone?

- There was one customer -- dude in his late 40s -- who would pull his mobile home into the store parking lot once a week. He would come in, rent a soft-core porn video (we didn't carry the hard stuff) and a VCR, and go out to his mobile home in the lot. He would then return the VCR and video about an hour later. None of us would want to touch it.

- Other regulars included a guy who would come in every Tuesday morning and rent one of every new title we'd gotten in. One customer left a video in his car and it melted, and he pitched a royal public fit when the store charged him $99 to replace it. He insisted he could buy it elsewhere cheaper and replace it; about a week later he returned and sheepishly paid the $99.

- When Fried Green Tomatoes came out, our copies arrived with a giant inflatable green tomato to use to promote the title in the store. On a quiet night in the store, I decided to see how fast I could inflate it. I blacked out and fell on the floor. Teenagers are stupid.
Old 08-07-14, 06:43 PM
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Re: Video store memories?

When I was 18 I got a few job interviews at video stores, but never got hired- I came close at one store but they gave the job to this other kid from my school who I hated because his uncle worked in the movie business and he got the job just because of that. Also got interviewed at Blockbuster which had just taken over a smaller chain called Major Video- I got to see their back room where I saw a few tapes like The Cook The Thief His Wife and Her Lover, and Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down which Major Video had rented but Blockbuster pulled them off the shelf because they were rated NC-17. Glad I didn't end up working there. I got hired at a movie theater instead which was a much better experience for me.

I remember in the early 80s most video stores would hand out a printed list of every movie they have, which filled out ONE PAGE. Also remember the large padded cases you would get the tapes in. As more stores opened up, I would always keep track of which ones had the lesser-known movies, and would make trips to ones farther out to rent some of them. When Major Video opened in 1989, it was humongous in comparison to all the others, and they had a computer set up in the middle of the store where you could type in the name of the movie you were looking for and it would show if they had it.

DVDs with their low prices turned me into a buyer- can't really say I miss renting that much now, but that's just how it was in the beginning.
Old 08-07-14, 06:47 PM
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Re: Video store memories?

Originally Posted by Alan Smithee View Post
<iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/j_2zcW4yq30" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
That's an awesome throwback commercial for me. They built the Alakea Corporate Tower at the former site of Video House in 1993. There's a T-Mobile store in the ground floor unit now.
Old 08-07-14, 07:06 PM
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Strangely enough I found the tape that commercial came from at a thrift store in Sacramento CA- don't know how it made its way over here, but it fell into the right hands.
Old 08-07-14, 07:24 PM
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Re: Video store memories?

I remember renting Def-Con 4 at the local mom and pop. What a piece of garbage.
Old 08-07-14, 07:35 PM
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Re: Video store memories?

Originally Posted by Mike86 View Post
Also there were the video games. I remember renting a ton from consoles like the NES, Sega Genesis, Playstation, Playstation 2, and Nintendo 64. There were many times when my mom would take my brother and I on Friday after school to go to the store and pick out some video games or movies for the weekend. I remember renting a bunch of the Mega Man games on NES and a ton of other titles.
Yeah I think I have more memories of renting games than movies, as we rarely bought games back then.
Old 08-07-14, 08:29 PM
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Re: Video store memories?

More love for Tower Video in Point Loma. That was where I really dug into Hong Kong action films for the first time. They also stocked all the letterboxed VHS titles once that started becoming a thing.

My funniest memory though, was one Sunday morning when I was returning my Saturday night's viewings (at Tower, you paid upon returning the tape, not when you rented it). The guy in front of me had three porn titles. Three was the maximum amount of tapes you could possibly have. I chuckled at him at first then thought, hey my life's not any better. I spent Saturday night alone watching kung-fu flicks. Not even one breast. This guy at least got to see some action, even if it was just on his TV.

But then as I was getting another movie, I saw that guy, BACK IN THE PORN SECTION. Seriously, what could he possibly see that he didn't get in the three movies he saw last night? I have nothing against porn, but it does get old after you've watched 20-30 minutes (and the obvious, um, home viewing interaction that takes place).
Old 08-07-14, 08:32 PM
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Re: Video store memories?

Originally Posted by Jackskeleton View Post
Speaking as a former employee of a video chain - most every one was filled with pretentious film school drop out douche bags who thought anything the average person enjoyed was below them.

I guess they all migrated to the internet message boards.
Motherfucker. You mean there are other people like me ?!

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