Yeah, There’s a Still Video Rental Store in Montgomery County, PA
Did you know there's a video rental store in Montgomery County, PA?
Yeah, I was excited when I found this out over the weekend. So, like so many of us, I was watching the Last Blockbuster on Netflix. You know... that Kevin Smith movie that shows the rise and fall of Blockbuster. The documentary centers on the final Blockbuster store... located in Bend, Oregon.
So I was feeling all of the feels about missing video rentals, I googled to see if there were any video rental stores in the area still.
There couldn't possibly be any true video rental stores left, right? Well, turns out there is:
Viva Video! is open on West Lancaster Ave in Ardmore, PA. The store opened in 2012 just days after TLA Video in Bryn Mawr closed.
TLA's longtime manager Miguel Gomez opened Viva Video following its closure. Today it has a library of more than 17,000 titles on DVD, Blu-Ray and VHS.
"I myself don't make any money from the shop," Gomez told ABC TV's Localish. "It's 100% a passion project."
But an important passion project that we all are longing for. There's something about the connection to our local video store that anyone born before the year 2000 can certainly relate too.
Plus, in addition to video rentals, the store hosts screenings and events throughout the year as well. I even saw on their website that in early 2020 (pre-COVID) they hosted a viewing party for the Oscars.
The store has all of your favorite pieces of nostalgia of the video rental process. Just last week they posted that they ARE keeping track of how far your rental discs are flying out of the return slots. Remember those?!
Check this out:
Plus, am I the only one who remembers the smell of a video store? I hope Viva Video! Has that signature video rental store smell.
You can view the list of movies they have available on their Lettboxd account, and they're even hosting online events (like trivia) throughout COVID-19. Follow them on Facebook to learn more.
Video rentals are still super affordable too. They run $5 for 3 nights (with $2 extra being charged each day). They also offer discounts like three movies for the price of two. And you know they have movies that you can't find on streaming services.
By the way, our area was home to another video store up until last year. I remembered that the Video Store in Levittown closed in fall 2019 when the store's longtime owners John and Alice Tardino retired, we told you.
The Video Store first opened in 1981 and offered video rentals until it closed in late 2019. However, they offered additional services that helped support the business including notary services, lottery ticket sales, copies and faxes, passport photos, fingerprinting, and more.
In the meantime, I think I'll be heading to Ardmore this weekend to get the full effect of the Last Blockbuster. I'll be browsing the aisles (socially distanced) trying to decide which movie to rent... much like I used to do on EVERY Friday night in 1999.