Wednesday, March 28, 2012

World of Video

VANISHING

After 29 years in Greenwich Village, World of Video will be closing on April 28. They have lost their lease.



A sign in the window, covered with handwritten well wishes and goodbyes, reads: "It is with great sadness we are forced to announce World of Video will be closing its doors forever. We have shared great entertainment, engaged in casual and often personal conversation..."



"Can you believe it," asked a man reading the sign.

"Netflix," I said.

"I rent here and I have Netflix," he said, "so I guess I'm as guilty as the next guy."

"We all are," I conceded.

A woman stopped by with her dog. "Bummer," she said. "Here comes another goddamn Marc Jacobs."

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Makes me very sad. They had a huge porn section that was staffed by slightly fussy, but very knowledgable, older "queens". It was always amusing to hear a customer ask about a certain xxx film or director, and then listen to the staff member go into a detailed description. You'll never get that sort of entertainment from Netflix. I guess it's true, soon all we'll need is a little handheld box to do everything. No more going anywhere or encountering interesting characters, it will all be handled "on-line". Very, very sad.

Marty Wombacher said...

Sucks to see this place closing. Although I have to admit to being guilty of streaming movies from Netflix and other sources online. We're slowly losing human interaction with others which stimulates the brain and makes life interesting.

Jeremiah Moss said...

Anon, i love a fussy but knowledgeable queen. so true about Netflix--no personal attention. Marty, i'm also Netflix guilty. i don't think of video stores the way i do about bookstores, but a place like this--just reading the many notes on the sign in the window shows how important it's been to so many people.

lauran said...

theres something good about doing things on line. if youre sick or need to stay in, thats an option. (i myself dont do netflix, i have youtube, & do not like fiddling w/computer). there is something great about going out, & having contact w/people. i buy dvd's & enjoy the recommendations & like to say hello to the people. also i support small businesses, enough of 24/7 corporations.

S.S. said...

#1 @ 12:00 pm

It was also a good place to pick up straight porn: they had the front and back of the video jackets nicely arranged in a large 3-ring binder, which made for much faster and more efficient browsing.

The stock was abundant and varied and, unlike Tower Video, where I always felt like I stood out picking up porn, the porn area seemed so casual and much more a part of their business model.

And being with all the Village gay guys there, made it feel more homey and not like the straight commuter guys in rain coats in the old Times Square area, looking furtively around, as if they expected their co-workers would spot them.

I don't use Netflix, but get my porn on computer. So, I guess we are all contributed to its demise.

onemorefoldedsunset said...

There's one video store left near me, & the owner is a great Russian woman who is really knowledgable about film. I love talking to her. Her main helper is the gloomiest man alive & never initiates a word of conversation. A pleasing combo. It's quieter & quieter in there so I can't see it lasting too much longer. Very sad. Have watched an occasional Netflix through someone else but not so much. Or sometimes ridiculous ten minute segments of stuff on youtube.

Ed said...

I've never figured out how to use Netflix, but then that is because I'm not particularly interested in seeing old movies (I saw alot of movies when I was young and I don't like rewatching movies). I also have little use for porn. So I guess if more people were more like we there wouldn't have been a market for video stores in the first place.

I do find a world where contact with other people is mostly via computer, and you get things by ordering via computer for them to be delivered to you (by robots eventually), which Asimov satirized in one of his uneven late Foundation/ I Robot sequels, to be creepy. I don't think people will long have access to the cheap energy to make something like that happen, but it is increasingly looking that they are damn well going to try to make it happen.

Casey said...

I have Netflix and I like to rent out and about at brick and mortar. Netflix is best for newer titles, but I like the back catalogs found at most video stores. And just because home video is much cheaper to own these days doesn't mean I desire to buy something without testing it out first. :( I guess I'll be heading over to see what's up with the location.

Mark Melnick said...

I just walked past WoV today and saw the sign and was crushed, this place was wonderfully unique yet also well-stocked (even in the non-porn dept). Very friendly staff, etc etc.

You win, Netflix, you win ...

Anonymous said...

damn.
now will spend more money on computer and internet, and like everything else have less human/humane contact....
I've been renting films here for 15 years. great selection and up-to-date. Friendly pleasant laid back. What a loss.
thanks WOV. I'll miss you greatly.

David Robeano said...

I too am guilty of Netflix, but loved it here, even after their downsizing. TLA too on 8th was an amazing, now departed store. ( also with a lovely adult section).

esquared said...

But I think most here would say it was the guys behind the counter who kept us coming in — guys who are film geeks and who always had an unexpected answer when asked, “What should I rent?”

Like the Magic Shop in the H. G. Wells short story, its door will not just close behind us but disappear, never to be found again. A new business will move into the space in May, and those of us in the neighborhood will do our best to welcome it and try not to hold a grudge. But we will never forget the world as it once was: one where film geeks reigned and in which there was not a single cloud.


http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/24/the-end-of-the-world-of-video-as-we-know-it/

Jeremiah Moss said...

thanks for that quote. and there's this thing about geeky places--they save people's lives. especially in the hinterlands. oddballs and outcasts find oases in these places, find like-minded souls, find a way to get through life.

what happens when all the geeky places are gone? all the comic book shops, record shops, bookstores...

oh, and look at the one asshole comment on that City Room story. THAT'S what we have to look forward to--a world full of that guy.

John K said...

I have Netflix and also had an account here for years. One summer many years ago I systematically checked out numerous foreign films I hadn't ever seen, and gave myself a mini-course in 20th century European cinema. What a loss, but it's doubly sad because TLA's store, across 6th Ave. on 8th St., also had an ample supply of videos of all kinds, and it closed, never to reopen. Sic transit gloria Novi Eborici.

This is a wonderful blog, BTW!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how to contact any of the employees from World Of Video?
Particularly Pete. I have an idea for them. Any contact info for any of the guys would be much appreciated.