After 23 years, the best video store ever, The Movie Place, is going out of business. I learned this one evening when I went to–you guessed it–rent a movie. (I stupidly chose the new Lindsey Lohan flick, but I won’t waste the keystrokes writing about that.) I ambled toward the counter with my DVD, where the cute checkout guy (going through a bizarre 70’s mustache phase) helped the old man in front of me. I waited patiently, watching reruns of Arrested Development on the TV screen behind me, when suddenly something Mustache Guy said caught my attention: “Yeah, we’re closing for good on November 30th.” He shrugged, then scanned the old man’s copy of Desperately Seeking Susan.
I was flabbergasted. How could my favorite video store be going out of business? And on the heels of the local Blockbuster’s demise, no less. I’ve also heard rumors of the uptown branch of Kim’s closing its doors, as well as Tower Records on 66th and Broadway. What is the world coming to? My first thought: Netflix. Now, I love Netflix as much as the next guy, but it has its time and place. When you’re out with friends, discussing politics and skinny jeans, and suddenly Evil Dead II comes up, you can’t wait three frigging days for it to arrive on Netflix–you have to get it NOW!
But I was wrong. It’s not Netflix or Amazon. At least not in the case of the beloved Movie Place at 105 and Broadway. According to the letter on their website, it’s greedy, money grubbing landlords. Half the building’s been evicted and who knows what will happen to the rest. All over the city, quaint, quirky, longstanding businesses are closing their doors after years and years, because they can’t afford to keep them open. And what’s going to replace it? Well, the 99 cent store on Broadway and 104 just became a McDonalds. My favorite chinese restaurant on 97th is a Bank of America. The Clearview Cinema at 107–one of the first movie theaters I ever went to–is also a Bank of America. Even our local Starbucks is being replaced with a bank! Who knew Starbucks could be bumped off?
What’s my point with all this… Well, mostly I’m just sad. Who the fuck wants to get off the subway after a long day and hang out in the bank? In a couple years, that might just be your only option.