Be Kind Please Rewind: Fond Memories Of Renting From A Small Town Video Store

I was born in 1984 and grew up in a small town in Michigan and I always loved the trips we made to the video store to go rent a flick. Now in my town we did not have any of the bigger chain rental stores like Blockbuster, Family Video, Hollywood Video and ect. Instead we had two smaller mom & pop rental stores. One was called E&D's Video and the other was Night Owl Video.
Night Owl was the smaller of the two and had of course a smaller selection, but what they lacked in selection they made up for in friendliness. The owner was a man I am guessing in his early 30's and his wife who was around the same age. He had a beard and medium length brown hair and he had this really cool The Crow shirt he wore from time to time. Being a kid who was always more into the darker side of things i found that to be really cool. Both of them were really cool about if you were a little late on bringing a tape back (which happened a few times to me).

One of the biggest things I remember about that place was that they had a good amount of the Godzilla films on VHS that were not easily found during that time. One in particular was Godzilla VS Biollante (1992), I remember renting that tape many many times. It was one of those places that truly opened my eyes to the world of cinema. Now as for the other place that I mentioned E&D's Video they were friendly as well, but to me it didn't have the warmth to it that the smaller place had. Like I said previously they did a have a bigger selection. I remember them having about 5 or so isles of nothing but horror films and each rack were probably about 8 to 10 rows high. It was a beautiful thing. They had big box releases of Zombie and many other great obscure classics like the Shocking Asia series. As you would of guessed they had other genres as well, but horror always attracted me more than anything else. When I came closer to being a teenager they had this deal where you got 5 movies for $5 for 5 days. That is when the horror-a-thon began with me big time. One other thing that was fun about that place was sneaking into the adult video section and seeing all the crazy titles like Edward Penishands!

Those truly were the days. Sadly Night Owl shutdown due to not being able to compete with E&D's, I tried getting a piece of history from that place when they were getting ready to close down, but the family and friends of the owners got first dibs and not much of anything was left. Then there was only the one place for awhile, about the time DVD started coming into the picture even that place began to lose the feel that it once had. Now I know for places like that to survive they do need to keep up with the latest format which is fine, but it's hard to see after I grew up with it being the same way for so long. Over the years I have embraced DVD & Blu-ray, but I will always hold a special place for VHS tapes in my heart. The whole ritual of having to use tracking on a worn tape or just the simple task of rewinding the tape and the sound it made when doing so will always take me back to a time that I look at very fondly. If you are reading this and you have never had the chance to experience VHS tapes then you need to hit up a flea market or rummage sale and buy up some tapes and possibly a VCR if you can't find one laying around in the attic that was packed away long ago and put in a box next to a box of pogs and trapper keepers. It is worth the experience for any fan of movies.

One thing that forgot to mention prior was that there were other video stores around in the next 2 towns over that I do remember fondly, but not as much as I did the ones in my hometown. Those other ones were also mom & pop stores as well. When i moved to my current town a few years back the video store here was still renting out VHS tapes until about 2 or so years ago I noticed they were selling them and replacing those empty spaces with DVD's. I guess no one in this town still owns a VCR. Even though those days of wondering the isles in search of something new to appease my appetite for films is not like it used to be, I will always have the memories of those times. On that note please do me a favor and please be kind and rewind!

 That is when Zenith was a good brand before they got bought out and became a shit brand!