Yes, it’s that time of year again where we’re all supposed to give thanks for the good fortune that we have in our lives. But in reality, we should be thankful all year long for everything we hold dear to us. Outside of the obvious – family, health, friends, cats – I just wanted to say that I’m thankful as hell to still be able to be doing what I do. It’s not easy running these stores in this day and age of Netflix, downloading, pay-per view and all the other sources to get your cheap, if not free (!) entertainment. Stress, anxiety and fear compete with the joy and fun that I have, pretty much on a daily basis. I’m still amazed that there enough good folks out there who see the value in what we do and see that what you get for free or cheap online and what you can get at a well curated video shop, are miles apart. When asked how or why we are still open – apart from me being a stubborn old man – I always say the same thing: online selection is very limited and the quality can be quite dubious (there will always be some who don’t care if they steal a copy of Wonder Woman and it’s all tinted orange and has Turkish subtitles) but when you come into my shop and browse the over 15,000 titles, grab a box, read about the film, talk to a knowledgeable professional, get recommendations, chat about the films – these qualities are intangible and make your viewing experience that much more rewarding. You can’t get any of this great stuff online.
As my friend, Isor, who runs the fantastic shop Eyesore Cinema in Toronto and is the founder of Video Store Day says: “Then there is the sense of community… of like minded individuals sharing a common interest, sharing knowledge and joy. Sure, the internet is full of blogs, tumblrs, forums and such, but for some… nothing is as rich, fulfilling and nuanced as actual, real time, face to face, human interaction. We often forget that we are part of a living organism, or just overtly choose to live in a bubble of our own solipsistic, cloistered reality. The great shame of the internet age is that even with so much access to interaction it seems like we are more alone and lonely than ever before.”
So if you think, as we do, that what we provide and what we do is important, even just on the level of having these films available, please drop on in and rent something wonderful! Who knows what will happen when were gone? Will it be just monolithic corporate entities telling us what we can and can’t watch, enjoy and cherish? I do fear for our future.
But enough yakking. I just wanted to say thanks to all who continue to support us. We love, truly love, doing what we do and we can’t do it without all of you lovely and amazing people! You understand the value of knowledge, experience and of supporting your community. I hope that we are doing a good job and that you still want us to be part of your world. And I hope to be sitting right here next year writing another thank you note to you all. You rock!