EVERY MOVIE NERD HAD A HOME BASE GROWING UP
Today’s home entertainment world is incredible. At any given moment, I can access pretty much any movie I want wherever I am. Renting new releases is simply a matter of deciding which service to use and a choosing a movie. Yes, things are more convenient than ever for movie fans… But I still miss the movie stores.
I grew up fairly close to a movie store called Popcorn Video. It was home base. For years I had to ask my parents to drive me there and rent movies and games. Finally, they got sick of me asking and gave me permission to ride my bike to the store alone. That bike ride was ALWAYS exciting.
Kids have many bikes growing up but the one I remember most was a green 10 speed that I absolutely adored. Most of the time, I’d go directly to the store but there were times when a detour to Jump City was in order. Just around the corner from my house was a fairly large bush that had a clearing full of bike jumps. It’s strange, I never built any of them and never saw anyone else working on jumps but there were always new trails to take. I like to think I got sweet air but I was only a couple inches off the ground at best.
From there it was off to the store. In those days, our 14.4 dial up internet was mostly used by my dad who ran his business from home. I didn’t have a ton of access to new release news so I depended on the charts in that store. Some weeks, I’d go in just to see what was coming and plan my rentals accordingly. Times have changed indeed.
If I could draw, I’d probably be able to sketch out EXACTLY what that store looked like right down to how the shelves were divided by genre. Holy crap I spent a lot of time at that store. I’d take my VHS tapes home and immediately lose myself in another world.
Years later Popcorn Video would also become my go to for used movies. The second I had a job and made my own money, I began raiding those shelves as often as possible so I wouldn’t miss out on a deal. My VHS collection grew incredibly quickly especially when DVDs began to take over and the prices went down. I didn’t care about format back then. I just wanted to watch movies again and again.
Remember what it was like to rent a movie? Dealing with the anticipation as you made your way home? Did you ever order a pizza and pick it up on your way? And I worked at a Pizza Hut so they were discounted pizzas.
Eventually, those smaller stores couldn’t keep up with big outlets like Blockbuster Video and faded away. Now even Blockbuster has been replaced by… The Stream. I used to visit Blockbuster once a month to stock up on new movies. But those days are long gone now.
Of course, it’s not all bad news. I don’t have to travel to see the movies I want to see anymore. The next generation of movie fans won’t know that feeling at all. I suppose it’s a lot like the generation before me who were most likely stunned when home video was introduced to the world.
It’s amazing how technology has shaped my life. I now work in television and I’m still obsessed with movies & screenwriting. Popcorn Video may not be a part of my life anymore but I’ll carry those memories with me forever.
I loved that store.