by Bryan Connolly
There are a lot of great things one gets from working at a Video Store. Free rentals! Talkin’ about movies all day! It’s the easiest job ever: rent movies/put movies away! But for me the best thing about working at Vulcan Video for seven years has been renewing my faith in the future of the human race.
I use to get pretty weighed down thinking about the stupidity of mankind and how we are all doomed. I no longer think this. This is based on the interactions I’ve had with kids whose great parents bring them here to rent. First off, how awesome is it that there are kids in 2015 that will have memories of renting actual physical movies from real live human beings. It makes me very happy to know that these kids will have the same nostalgia and memories of looking at shelves and shelves of movies that I do. Second, kids are renting the darndest things these days. A ten year-old is flying through I Love Lucy. A girl and her little brother are watching all of the original Godzilla films. A pre-teen wants to know what the best John Wayne films are. They’re obsessed with 60s Batman and think that Welcome Back Kotter is pretty funny. I got a little dude coming in quoting The Warriors to me. A group of young teens want to watch all the 80’s slashers they can get their hands on. How can this be? Why is this happening? Aren’t they all supposed to be jacked in, surfing the net, drooling over their phones?
They certainly use the internet for information. One dad explained to me he has no idea why his son wants to watch all these old films or how he found out about them. Yes, it is true that since they are kids whose parents are taking them into a video store today it means they already live more interesting lives than the download-only families. But why all this old stuff they’re watching? Don’t they know it doesn’t have CGI or Jonah Hill in it? They don’t care. If it is thirty years old–but looks cool–they’ll watch it. The key is these parents actually let them see it. A little girl wants to watch The Goonies, don’t force Madagascar 3 on her. These kids are smart. They know what’s good. Hopefully they will carry this open-minded thinking and good taste with them into their adulthood.
When a grown man comes in and laughs at the “cheesy” (code: not CGI) effects of Jaws, he should follow the example of the eight year-old next to him and remember that just because it isn’t new doesn’t mean it isn’t good. Grownups at home who load everything off the internet should also remember what it’s like to be excited about picking out a movie at a video store. They need to leave their house, interact with some nice people and watch something truly, really fun and great. Happy Video Store Day everybody!
Vulcan Video is a family-owned, independent video store with two locations in Austin, Texas. From foreign, cult, and classic films to the latest new releases, Vulcan Video carries everything from the dimly remembered to the well loved.