The way we consume home video has shifted. The video store experience is becoming a relic of a not-so-distant time. Director Ben Churchill, a former employee of Video World Superstore of Waterbury, Connecticut, documents the final days of his old local store. The short documentary packs in a lot in information and nostalgia within 17 minutes.
Whatever happened to the great video store? What was once a vital part of the movie business and its consumers is swept away by the Internet among other things. Video World shows the rise and fall of what Churchill considers a town tresure. Owner Ed Kaczynski details the history of the store and the home video industry in general. The short features customers and employees adding a human touch. Video World is asking for us to consider the awesomeness of the communal experience.
Video World also had celebrities stop by such as Denis Leary, Arthur Miller, and Helen Hunt. Kaczynski also discusses the engine that once drove video store business: pornography. Yes, there’s a brief discussion about habitually late-returning customers. Ah, those dreaded late fees.
Watching Video World made me reflect on the death of the video store in my neck of the woods. After the deaths of Blockbuster, Hollywood, and various local stores, my hometown has a sole survivor. I can’t recall when I stopped renting movies. It was probably about 10 years ago. By then, I was really into video games.
While I appreciate the hard work of the men and women of Video World, I enjoy having the selection of videos all over the Internet. Maybe this and Rewind This! would make a nostalgic double-header?
Directed by Ben Churchill. 17 minute run time. Viewed on Amazon Instant Video.
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