Thursday, July 18, 2013

I miss video stores and arcades.

Remember renting a movie? Like physically going to a place to rent a hard copy, taking it home and watching it? I miss that. I miss the video store. Not Blockbuster or Hollywood video or any of the big chains that were around. No, I miss the little mom and pop local video store. You know the kind, where the isles are a little too small because the place is in too small of a location. And the guy working there was a film student or even a failed screen writer and knew every damn movie you could possibly think of. The place I went to the guy would even give me and my dad suggestions based on stuff we rented. Maybe if it wasn't busy he would bullshit about movies for a while. I miss just walking around and looking at all the great box art. Horror movies especially had amazing Box art. It was a ritual, you go out, get your pizza or other take out, and then get a movie and come home. It was the perfect date night as a young adult with a limited budget. I know, I know, you can get it instantly streaming though Netflix or OnDemand. Yeah that's great I suppose. But I miss the larger experience.

I also miss arcades. I still see arcades around but it's mostly skeeball and Dance Dance Revolution. I miss the great arcade games. Remember going to the mall on a Saturday, I could actually walk to mine it was close enough, you've got a sock full of quarters and you're saying "Today's the day, I am beating that game." So you go and find your game. Maybe it was the Simpsons Arcade game, maybe it was the X-men one, maybe one of the Ninja Turtles ones. So you go, you pop in your quarter and you select Donatello because his weapon has the biggest range.
And you get down to it. As you play people come in and out of your game. They put a quarter in, play for a while, die, and move on. Not you, your here for the long haul damn it. And when you finally beat the game your feet and your thumbs are sore, but it is so satisfying you need a candy cigarette. Sure many of those classic arcade games are available on Xbox live and what not, but is it really the same?

Maybe I'm just getting old, but I feel like we've lost something there. Sure we've gained convenience, but we lost some of the ritual and experience out of things. But oh well, I guess time marches on.


  1. Heck, I don't know where you live, but in Silverlake, California (*90027 area) there is a little video store above a dry cleaners, right next to a Gelson's market. It is called Video Journeys. It has been there since the early 1980s when I first lived in the neighborhood. I just drove by last week and saw it is still there. Blockbuster and Hollywood video came and went, and Video Journeys still remains. :)

    Oh look at that, a yelp page and a home webpage: