North American Video in Raleigh’s Cameron Village had a lot of faithful customers over 30 years or so, some who’d go in several times a week to rent the latest video offerings.
But as of this past Sunday, the store is no more. A huge sale had cleared out a lot of stuff.
The place, as has been the case with so many video stores, was a victim of progress, of advancement in home entertainment that drove the merchants of that entertainment, the sellers and renters of videos, right out of business.
When first such places opened, they were wonders. Kids would walk the aisles of their cartoons or their movies, pick some out for the weekend and return with Mom or Dad the following Monday. For some families, it was a weekly ritual. College kids would load up and stay up for days cramming not for finals, but for the latest pop culture series.
There were rules, of course. Return on time to avoid penalty. And rewind. Oh, yes, rewind. There were video stores where the failure to rewind would strike fear in the hearts of those who didn’t like to color outside the lines, break the rules, don’t you know.
But still, it was such fun, first with the big VHS tapes, then the DVDs, then the Blu-ray. Ah, but when it became possible for people to download movies and TV shows directly onto their televisions, that did to video stores what TV trays did to the family dinner hour. It was only a matter of time.