Though the advent of streaming video has made nearly any programming under the sun just a few quick clicks away, some of us still miss the ritual of going to a video store and spending quality time browsing the aisles searching for a particular title that struck our fancy.
There was something really special about investing such time planning for how you would further invest your time later in the evening with whatever stack you decided was worthy of a viewing. The video store experience allowed us the opportunity to peruse and investigate and make decisions based upon lurid box art or recommendations from geeky employees or the fact that the movie we really wanted to see was already checked out, but this other, more obscure film, in the same genre is available.The video store experience gave us the thrill of the hunt, and made the reward of that particular two-day-rental that much sweeter. Algorithms that tell us what we are likely to enjoy remove the sense of discovery that the video store provided.
One Houston, Texas-based VHS collector has taken his nostalgia for the video store experience to a level of awesome that most would never consider. He has recreated an ‘80s style video store in his basement.
Jason Champion’s Champion Video is a fully-functional video rental outlet that issues memberships and boasts over 4,500 titles. True to the era, memberships and rentals are tracked on an ancient Commodore 64 computer with a spreadsheet program.
In an interview for Lunchmeatvhs.com, Mr. Champion details the shop’s authenticity:
There is a display case with candy, trading cards, VCRs, blank tapes, tape rewinders, and popcorn for people to “buy.” Also, I have a horror themed arcade set on free play, since a lot of old video stores used to have them. Oh man, there’s so much more stuff like video store promos, posters, horror and 80s collectibles all over the place, it’s like the 80s threw up everywhere.
Lots of people have basement “man-caves,” but it’s really something else to completely recreate a specific environment that harkens back to a simpler time. I’ve got to hand it to Mr. Champion, this is beyond cool.
More after the jump…