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Moriarty Eulogizes Dave's Video And Ponders The State Of The DVD Industry!!

Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.

I come not to bury Dave Lucas, but to praise him.

When I moved to Los Angeles in 1990, I took two jobs in a row that put me in a position that directly impacted who I became. First up, I was an assistant manager at a theater in Sherman Oaks, and as a result, I got a crash course in the test screening process and the National Research Group and Joe Farrell, an education that came in handy when I started my initial spy reportage for AICN back in 1996. That theater job also put me face to face with a hell of a lot of familiar faces... actors, directors, musicians... famous people came to see films there every day and every night, and I’ll be the first to admit it... I still got flabbergasted by people at times. When Robert Zemeckis came through the lobby one day, I lost my cool completely. Woody Allen came in for a screening of SCENES FROM A MALL, and then asked to sit upstairs in the manager’s office instead of downstairs in the theater, so I got to lead him up. I sat next to Clint Eastwood for a screening of THE ROOKIE. I saw Gene Hackman every Friday morning for almost six months. It was a remarkable sort of full-immersion shock therapy regarding celebrity.

My writing partner and roommate, Scott Swan, found a couple of jobs in a row, and ended up at a place called Dave’s Video, a laserdisc store. His reasoning at the time: “We’ll get free rentals.” Sounded good to us. We had invested in laserdisc in the spring of 1989 because we read there was a letterboxed version of STAR WARS available. It was that simple a decision for two confirmed Original Trilogy junkies, desperate to see the film again the way we remembered it as children. Every videotape release up that point, remember, was panned-and-scanned, and letterboxed prints of anything were pretty rare in home video. It just didn’t make sense to letterbox. There was no market for it. The consumer didn’t want it. That’s what was hammered home to me when I managed a video store in Tampa, Florida. So when we first started reading about laserdisc, it seemed impossible, a film lover’s dream.

The technology was still just starting to get a foothold when we moved to LA, and the idea of a laserdisc-only store seemed improbable to me. Still, Scott found this place and said it was great, with a dense rental library, and if we could rent movies for free, that meant we could work our way through and see everything eventually, even if it wasn’t ours to own. I liked that idea a lot, and I decided to check out this place where Scott said he was going to work.

Before I left the store, I put in an application of my own. I knew I wasn’t going to be a manager, and I might not get paid the same, but I also knew that Dave’s was cooler than any video store I’d ever been in before, and I wanted to work there.

And so it was that both Scott and I found ourselves at what we eventually came to know as Ground Zero. Everything that happened for us in the years afterwards had to do with our stay at that place, and everything that happened there was directly due to the vision of one person: Dave.

Dave’s a big guy. Not quite Harry Knowles big, but imposing, and with a particular gait, a sort of rolling shuffle. His hair was still dark in 1990, and he wore a permanent scowl that was only split on rare occasion with a quick stab of a smile that would vanish again immediately. When I met him, I was instantly intimidated by him, and that never went away... not the entire time I worked there, and not in the years since. I’m fairly sure Dave never liked me, not even in the beginning. I’m not even sure how I got the job. See, I made the cardinal mistake. I admitted to him that I wanted to make films. He rolled his eyes when I said it, and I could tell instantly that I had made a mistake.

”Let me explain something to you about this store,” he said, and he sounded tired and exasperated when he said it, like he had been through this before, many times. “Most of our customers work in the film industry. They come here for a couple of reasons. They come to buy their own work, and the work of their friends. They come to see their work displayed and see how it’s doing. And they come because they know this is a place where they won’t be bothered. They know that while they’re at Dave’s, no one is going to hassle them about anything. And that includes the staff. ESPECIALLY the staff.”

And he was right. In the two years or so that I was at that store, I saw an incredible cross-section of the entertainment industry represented. I met directors of all types. I met actors from the A-list, the B-list, and the Z-list. I saw incredible displays of ego close-up, and I was surprised by how often I saw people drop their guard and reveal themselves to surprising degree. It’s where I became friends with some great people like Frank Darabont and Mick Garris and the guy who directed my first play, Jerry Levine. It was because of Dave’s that I read the RESERVOIR DOGS screenplay before it had shot a frame of film. It was because of Dave’s that I got to wander unchecked on the HOOK sets and the BATMAN RETURNS sets. I have a Dave’s Story for every day of the week, and if I wanted to, I could have one for every hour of every day. And through it all, I did my best to do exactly what Dave wanted and keep my ambitions and my aspirations outside the store.

Instead of trying to push my work on people, or the notion of myself as a screenwriter, I determined early on that I was just going to do my best to be valuable at the store. And I got lucky. I had a niche. There were a lot of good people working at the store in those early days, including some guys who had been with Dave since the very start, but none of them could approach me in sheer breadth of film knowledge. Nine times out of ten, when someone walked through the door with a difficult film question, the other clerks and the managers would all point at me and say, “I don’t know. Ask Drew. He’ll know.” The conversations that resulted from that were remarkable, and led me to meet guys I am still friends with today.

And those other staff members, the ones who had been there from the start, they would tell us all the legend of Dave. They would tell us how he had started out working in a hardware store, where he had pushed the owners to open up a small video rental section, which had rapidly become a larger video rental section, and how he had recognized early on that laserdisc had a future. When he tried to get the store to take the plunge into this new home video format, they had balked, and he decided to go it alone... put his money where his mouth was, so to speak. And with the help of his wife Linda (as adept a handler of celebrities as one could have hoped for, and as big a part of the store’s early success as her husband), he had created something that had become truly indespensible to a large section of the filmmaking community. There were other stores, places like Lazer Blazer or The Laser’s Edge, that tried to compete, but Dave’s was the center of the universe at that particular point in time, it felt like.

Even when things fell apart between me and Dave over a misunderstanding (he thought I’d asked a customer for a job, when nothing could have been further from the truth), I left respecting him as a businessman. He had just moved to a new store, a bigger store right near the corner of Laurel Canyon and Ventura, incredibly prime Valley real estate. Laserdiscs were getting better and better, and so was his store, and I left there admiring him, having to get a rental membership of my own just so I would have an excuse to go back. I also left many friends at that store, some of whom are still there, still employed by Dave.

I understand that sort of loyalty to a job. Dave was the embodiment to me of the perfect small business owner. He ran the place personally. He was always there, even once he moved to Simi Valley, even once he moved his family north to Marin. Dave maintained a personal interest in his staff. I remember one incident where all the clerks and the managers were at each others’ throats over stupid little petty things, and Dave knew why... we had just gone through a harrowing holiday retail season, and the stress had been enormous. His solution was to close the store for a day and, out of his own pocket, take every employee plus a guest of their choice to Disneyland for the day. He treated us like family, not like hired help. He and Linda were the Mom and Pop of Mom and Pop stores.

I heard rumors about the demise of Dave’s when I was at Butt-Numb-A-Thon, of all places. I had to go to Texas to hear gossip about Studio City. Go figure. I thought it was a mistake of some sort. How could Dave’s ever go out of business? I remember the sort of profit margin he had going in the old days, the glory days. And it just seemed impossible to me. I thought it had to be a mistake. When I got back to LA, I started making calls. The rumors were remarkable. It seemed that there was a lot of smoke, but I couldn’t quite get a glimpse of the fire. Then, last Friday, I got an e-mail from Paul Prischman telling me that, indeed, Dave’s had closed their doors that day.

He offered some reasons in his e-mail, and he offered others in a release he sent to sites like The Digital Bits that I’ll reprint here, the last message from Dave and Linda to their customers:

To Our Dear Customers,

After nearly twenty years of business, Dave's Video, The Laser Place is forced to close its doors. Here at Dave's, we have always taken pride in providing you with the best selection, fair prices, and above all, the best service in town. This industry has changed drastically over the past couple of years, but what has changed the most is profit margin. We have tried very hard to adjust to the poor profit margin that has taken over this market, but we have come to realize that it would be impossible for us to continue to serve you in the manner in which you have expected, you deserve, and we have been proud to give. This is certainly a sad time for all of us, and please know we are deeply sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you. We truly appreciate your loyalty over the years and wish you and your families good health and much happiness.

Dave’s was important to fans of laserdiscs first, and they worked hard to accommodate DVD when it arrived. Studio Day was one of Dave’s great inventions, an annual event where anyone could come in and meet the reps from each of the major software distributors, each studio, and ask them questions about titles, offer feedback, and generally get a chance to help steer where the industry would go in the future. Dave’s also held charity events and signings and other events. Dave’s was, simply put, one of the best stores of any type that I’ve ever been into.

So it alarms me that it is closing. It alarms me because of conversations I’ve had with several of the employees that are leaving there this week, a bit dazed by it all, and because of what I think this says about the future of DVD sales.

I don’t think there’s room for the little guy in this business. I don’t think there will be many Mom & Pop stores in the future. This is a bad thing, even a terrible thing. It means that your DVD choices are going to be mandated by a corporate mentality more and more often. Virgin Megastore. Best Buy. Tower Records. Barnes & Noble. These are the people who will decide what to order, thereby deciding what’s available for you to buy. Dave’s Video ordered at least five of everything. Any title that was available, you could find it at Dave’s.

There’s no guarantee you’ll have that sort of access to available titles as these major companies take over the entire business. There’s no guarantee that anyone is going to pick up the gauntlet and encourage the sort of rapport between consumer and producer that Dave’s did. There’s every indication that this and recent decisions like the firing of Warner Home Video’s Warren Lieberfarb (the man responsible for the DVD format’s acceptance by Hollywood, in large part) indicate a turn in the way DVD is going to be offered to us, and I’m not sure I like it.

Anyway... it’s late... and I’m not sure this is going to mean a lot to most of you. Unless you lived here in Los Angeles, chances are you never visited Dave’s Video. The sad part is, now you’ll never have that chance. I sincerely wish Dave and Linda and their family well, and hope that they take nothing but fond memories with them into whatever they do next, and I hope that the incredible staff that has been there this whole time all ends up moving on to other even better things. Mainly, though, I hope this isn’t the end of an era, and that there’s still room for the personal touch in the retail end of DVD. I love the format, but I don’t want to see it turn films into something you get out of a vending machine, mere bubblegum cards. I hope there will always be room for a business like Dave’s, a business run by someone who knows the value of taking care of a customer, and who always goes the extra distance to make sure that the customer is able to find what they want, when they want, and how they want.

And if you ever run into me and you’re curious, ask me about the Michael Jackson/McCauley Culkin story. It’s a doozy.

"Moriarty" out.

Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 30, 2002, 8:12 a.m. CST

    Nice eulogy for a great store

    by jalora

    I have fond memories of Dave's from my L.A. days... Sad but true, there's very little money to be had when you're comepting with the likes of WalMart.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 8:17 a.m. CST

    Sign of the times...

    by bdowns3

    The demise of Mom and Pop places like Dave's is just another indication of where things are headed in this country: corporate everything. Look at grocery stores...look at radio. Any more, it's becoming a pipe dream to be able to start your own business and be successful. It's's un-American. And it spells real danger for this country, IMHO. America is rapidly changing from the republic our founding fathers envisioned to a greedy, money grubbing aristocracy, in which power and influence rest only in the hands of an elite few. Better fasten your seat belt.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 8:29 a.m. CST

    Great Commentary

    by MemBirdman

    I just wanted to share my appreciation for what Moriarity has said. I love the mom and pop stores, and am sad when one closes, even if I'd never been to it. And it's a shame that corporate America is winning with their cookie cutter philosophy. It's going to filter down, too, to movie making. Why make a movie if it's not going to get at least a cult following on DVD? It's a travesty. Anyway, thanks for the memories. Makes me wish I worked for Dave.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 8:34 a.m. CST

    C'mon, Mori!

    by Superdudebobby

    Tell us the Caulkin story then. You know you want to. Excellent article, by the way. I was touched and I've never even been to LA.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 8:36 a.m. CST

    Michael Jackson, M. Culkin and Drew McWeeny (McWeeney?)

    by t-squared

    Sorry I don't remember how to spell your last name Drew. So what's the story? Torrid threesome? I knew it! You, Michael and the brat from Home Alone "exploring" your sexuality? I'm sure that's not it, but it really is a nasty mental picture in my head now. Ewww. If only all film reviews on this site could be as thorough as the "eulogy" you wrote . . .

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 8:36 a.m. CST

    Boo fucking hoo

    by chickenmonkey

    Whenever I hear the default excuse about an independent store being "overwhelmed by big business," I know there's probably much much more to the story, and it usually involves management. But if you ask me, it sounds like this store was snobbishly elitist, like that record store in High Fidelity. If you cater solely to the same fickle Hollywood types that made Vin Diesel a meteoric leather-daddy overnight explosion/crash-and-burn, you're gonna get a taste of that fire yourself.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 8:49 a.m. CST

    Two words, Moriarty: ONLINE SHOPPING!!!

    by CoolDan989

    I swear, any DVD that's ever been created you can find online. Start with, and if for some bizarre reason you can't find the rarest DVD you're looking for, it will be available to be purchased used, or at another one of the hundreds of other online stores out there, or it has been discontinued by the studio. Don't act so melodramatic, Moriarty, hope is not lost in the DVD market. Sure, I feel sorry for Dave and for him losing his honest business, but it's not a huge corporate blow to the DVD industry. Anyway, I typically don't set out to find rare DVDs, I'm perfectly happy buying the hottest and newest DVDs at all the big video chains (I prefer Strawberries, or as I'm now grudgingly forced to call it, f.y.e). And I also go to Blockbuster to rent my DVDs, and they have a generally OK selection, even if they're starting to mix between stocking widescreen and fullscreen titles. (Fact: I was the first one to rent a DVD at my local Blockbuster. I rented Liar, Liar! And Blockbuster started out with one shelf of about 20 DVDs, but look at them now!)

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 9:25 a.m. CST

    I mean, Man,

    by BloodyFart666

    Every time I hear about a store like this having to close, I just want to waltz right into my local Blockbuster Video and take a big dump right in the return video slot, or maybe in the horror section. Then I would go to the front desk and act real shocked and say "Someone took a HUGE shit right in the horror section!" They'd probably know it was me because I'd have my pants around my ankles, and I'd smell like shit.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 9:25 a.m. CST

    Netflix is my Dave's Video

    by t9mike

    I'm not sure if Netflix stocks every DVD made, but their depth is impressive. As long as you can *plan* your viewing ahead of time it is great. And for me the depth + widescreen only + mail order convenience + low price beats any video store, even my guess Dave's unless I lived across the street (which I don't... I live in Dallas).

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 9:38 a.m. CST

    Retail Store

    by Tsunami3G

    I too subscribe to NetFlix and love it but nothing beats a friendly, knowledgable store. I feel bad for everyone who shopped there and if anyone knows of a similar shop in the NJ/NY area PLEASE email me.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 9:42 a.m. CST

    The Truth About DVD's

    by servaas1

    To be honest I hate DVD's. Sure you get better picture, sound but where is the biggest +? The price! Why are 5 year old DVD's that have almost no extra's so damm expensive. I admit I am a average Filmophiel. Sometimes I don't get all the abscure and, sometimes alien like film reverences you guys talk about. But why is it that the average movie wich is released on video for almost a 5 years is still so expensive? I don't have Dobly surround. To expensive! a good set (sony) cost close to 1500 gulden over here. (Netherlands) I did buy a wide screen TV. To me it was the biggest mistake! The way a movie is ported to dutch subtitles I can''t even watch it in full screen! Or I'll lose the subtitles. And also scratches! Is anybody elese a little worried that in about 2 years most movies in your collection will be absolute because of it? "Don't scratch em!" yeah right. But even when your paying really close attention to it there will still be scratch! DVD's arent that great. My two cents.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 9:59 a.m. CST

    Great Shame

    by JacksonsBane

    Ya know when the VHS market was at it's strongest my local Video Rental Store was always packed. Nowadays, it's dead. You can buy the latest films on DVD before they even make it to the rental market. And if you buy online, it's cheap. Things change.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 10:21 a.m. CST

    Things are better than they use to be.

    by spider-ham

    Back in the late 80s when i first got into laserdisks and home theater in general, I had a great store near by me called Laser Land. In fact it was accidently wandering into that store that got me started on this hobby. Saw the beauty that was Widescreen, walked out with $1,000 of player and disks. While "the stars" never shopped there, they treaded the customers with respect and never have I felt more welcomed in a store. The store didn't make it to the DVD era because the owner (who I met only once) managed to snort all the stores profits up his nose. However as cool as that store was, now is better. The average display in Best buy is better than what Laser Land had. The movie selection on DVD far exceeds what was available on laser disk and with the prices, I buy instead of rent. (and I think no one should bitch about paying $26 for a DVD without extras when laser disk for over $100 weren't uncommon) If I want to buy virtually anything, I don't have to leave my house to get it. While its sad to see good people loose their jobs, we are still better off in the current environment

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 10:35 a.m. CST

    Mom & Pop

    by Darth Brooks

    Maybe Dave's was different, but I remember "Mom & Pop" stores in Austin and Ft. Worth back in the 80's that deserved financial spankings. There was a store in North Austin that used to require *$100* deposit before renting tapes. Blockbuster cleaned their clocks and good riddance. With the onset of the internet, assorted local despots lost out to the beauty of free markets. Dave's may have been a great place to network, but give me lower prices any day.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 10:45 a.m. CST

    Missing Dave's and as the world churns

    by Darkwind

    Great article Drew! I too moved here (L.A.) in 1990 and soon found Dave's to be THE PLACE to get the hard to find movie in the impossible to find widescreen format. And just as DVD's has made my Lasedisk collection as defunct as VHS made my Beta's and CD made my albums, I above all miss a knowledgable staff that can not only answer a trivia question without giving me the old blank stare, but also recommend some other rarely seen oldie but goodie (I am still waiting for A Boy and His Dog, The Killer Elite and The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean!). In the last 12 years here I have seen too many small stores (Comic Book and Video especially) get pushed out by the WalMarts, Best Buys, and Blockbusters! Dave's was a wonderful place, but had the same problem - not enough diversity to fight off the chain stores and maintain a decent level of clientel - the small store is dying out like Laserdisks, Beta tapes, and albums! and to make it a small to mid sized store must have a variety of products to keep the MTV minded preoccupied. Dave's will be sorely missed and I thank you for remebering a great place to find and find out about new and old movies. from one Drew to another (Drew "Darkwind" DeWindt) keep up the great work - Excelsior!

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 11 a.m. CST


    by DaveDe

    This is really strange. I have just found out I know who Moriarty is because I used to work with him at Dave

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 11 a.m. CST

    Dave's Video

    by DaveDe

    This is really strange. I have just found out I know who Moriarty is because I used to work with him at Dave

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 11:47 a.m. CST

    Disney's DVD policies are starting to bite. I just got the Vista

    by togmeister

    ...was hoping to make a cool trilogy set with the Vista editions of 6th Sense and Unbreakable. Not so - instead of the plush card packaging of the earlier releases, Signs is crappy old amaray plastic, and has been downgraded to only one disc. That means no DTS! Another example of Eisner-led cost cutting. Other examples include the nixing of a 2-disc Lilo & Stitch (other recent animated releases have got 2-disc editions that got rave reviews from the buffs)and any further collector's editions. So no more Platinum series titles with heaps of extras like Snow White/ Beauty and the Beast, or of Leonard Maltin's WD Treasures tins (the recent 2-disc collection of every single Mickey Mouse black and white short was terrific). When Eisner sees that profits have even a little shortfall, it's always the buffs and the collectors that get screwed, and Joe Sixpack that get pandered to.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 11:57 a.m. CST

    Farewell Dave's Video

    by damonskye

    Those of you who never got the pleasure... Dave's Video was one of the greatest stores in the world for film fans. I've spent many a dollar there over the past ten years, originally on laserdiscs, recently on DVD. I will miss the place!

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 12:07 p.m. CST

    I SHOPPED DAVE's and wasn't an Entertainment Guy

    by Thorn MS

    I was one of the early customers in the original location. I loved that store. Ah the days of laserdisc. I had all of Space 1999 on Laserdisc, bought at Daves. Whoohoo. My ex-wife has them now, and I have all of Space 1999 on DVD... but I digress. I loved Daves, he introduced me to that thing called the Criterion Collection. I got Wings of Desire on Laserdisc (again, the wife has it), and its never come out on DVD? WTH. I digress again. In all the times I shopped in that Pioneer home theater mecca, I never saw a star, and wouldn't know a director from his brother, and was just a home theater nut not related to the entertainment industry. Ultimately, I moved out of Daves' area and stopped shopping there, but I sure loved it for a few years.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 12:27 p.m. CST

    Family Video is not bad

    by Pageiv

    I go to Family Video, they have an evergrowing section of DVDs. A lot of ones I've never heard of (and sorry I rented them). Plus they have an Adult section. Take that Blockbuster!!!

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 12:34 p.m. CST

    I hate DVDs!

    by RecurveTD2

    I have to agree with the guy from Holland. I hate DVDs with a vengence! It truly makes my stomach turn when I think of all the great cult movies that are being tossed in the garbage to make room for a dozen more copies of "American Pie 2" DVDs. Where is the love? The passion? And where the hell is the great selection? As I write this, I just came from a great Mon and Pop store in Baton Rouge. There I rented "The Dorm that Dripped Blood" and the special 10th Aniversary Edition of Blade Runner. I would never think of asking for these titles at BlockBuster. And it makes my heart swell to know that I am helping out a local business. When I see how people get taken in by the flash and glitz of new DVD technology and turn up their noses at old movies and the old video stores (old being any film made before 1990) I cry a little inside. True story. I was once in a local video store when I saw a pair of local youths pick up a copy of Kevin Smith's "Clerks". Well, when he saw that the film was in black and white, he dropped that VHS so fast you would have thought that the box burned his fingers. I will be a VHS man until the day I die! Viva Local!

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 12:38 p.m. CST


    by boneguy

    Dave's died because DVD availablity is no longer restrained by what is stocked at the corner video store (which is usually a miserable collection of junk). Netflix ( makes available any DVD ever made and has it to your door days after you order it. If you first read the reviews of DVD you have ordered on, you can glean plenty of information that enhances the viewing experience. Sorry Dave....progress is brutal...There is nothing that can truly replace your store but the changes literally bring the store to those who previously did not have access to the quantity and quality of Dave's huge inventory of titles.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 1 p.m. CST

    I am... was a loyal Dave's shopper.

    by jasher78

    Sure, on occasion I'd go to Blockbuster, it was right down the street and offered PS2 games and sometimes would be more convienient... But that was rare. If I wanted anything that was not a "Best Seller" or "New Release", I could not even consider that whorehouse of a store. Dave's had everything. The staff knew everything. I could ask a question about almost any film/DVD and SOMEONE would know. Everyone was extremely friendly and helpful, knew me by name... it was great. There were people who went there weekly and spents THOUSANDS of dollars on DVD's, and I would only buy 2-3 a month, yet they still knew me. I found out about 2 weeks ago of the possibility of the closing, the staff was in the dark, no one knew but everyone suspected. I was there on Thursday night... I asked again if they knew their fate. They said they still didn't know, but Dave was coming in tomorrow and was going to announce SOMETHING. Well, I guess that was it. Everyone was sad there. There was this air of the passing of this age. If I knew that was the last time I would step foot in Daves, I don't know.. I would've done something. It was a brilliant place and I truly mourn the loss of that resource and that great staff. Well, that's my shout out to my homeys at Daves. Peace. Guess, it's back to the whorehouse. - Jeremy

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 1:05 p.m. CST

    Mom and pop stores are great but they're all online now.

    by mindKMST

    I can find almost any movie I want online. All the mom and pop stores have gone automated because their owners can't afford to pay for the two highest expenses for any retailer; employees and real estate. As easy as shopping online is, it works best if you know what you want. I am a person who hates to shop but there is nothing I enjoy more than walking into a good (not blockbuster or Hollywood) video store with a few hours to kill and just browse. I am fortunate enough to have a Laserland store down the road that has quite a varied selection compared to the huge megastores and they are always happy to order something for me.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 1:15 p.m. CST

    Sherlock is right

    by CatoTheCensor

    I worked at Blockbuster for the wonderful summer of 2000. I used to get in trouble at work for telling customers who asked me what I thought of Patch Adams that it was one of the worst movies I had ever seen, and an insult to most people's intelligence. You see, that was one of Blockbuster's "hot picks" so I wasn't supposed to say anything bad about it. But that's ok, the customers were so dumb that they handed what ever blockbuster spoon fed them, including stuff like Varsity Blues, which was a huge seller. A bunch of cretinous retards, all of them.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 1:36 p.m. CST


    by direktor

    Great writing Mori... keep it up. Anyway, I moved to LA in 2000. I lived in Van Nuys first and worked for Blockbuster in Sherman Oaks for about 6 months where I saw a few celebrities here and there, although I'm a strict believer in letting them live like normal people without being hassled by overeager fans. After that I moved to Hollywood and worked at the General Cinema in there where I saw lots of celebs. I even let Paul Thomas Anderson sneak in for free late one night before we closed with his date for the night, the lovely Estella Warren. He was nice, even introduced me to her like I didn't know who she was (Paul was there to check out his boy Marky Mark and his date in Planet of the Apes). I told Paul that I was an aspiring filmmaker and was a former "valley-brat". He offered to make me a PA on Punch Drunk which he was shooting at the time and I gave him my number. But of course I never got a call. Anyway, I even remember Dave's laser... I tried to head down there once but something came up, I can't remember what. But the place had a golden reputation as THE place to get anyhting laser and thought about applying for a job, but I never got around to it. Like Mori, I too am frightened by this disturbing event... it's way too early to predict what will happen with DVD and the soon to be HD-DVD, but all I can say for now is, RIP DAVE's, and I wish you and yours well.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 1:52 p.m. CST

    Dave's Laser

    by tom_joad

    I used to frequent that store in the valley, I used to buy my Laser Discs there. I used to go there every week and purchase new releases and buy Criterion Collection LDs. It was a great place to be if you are a collector and a cinephile. I think the advent of DVDs started the decline of Dave's, it just brought the prices down and its readily available to most mainline stores. When Virgin Megastore opened in Burbank, where I live, I went there mostly since they pretty much have an extensive collection, as good as Daves. With Best Buy and Fry's Electronics even Costco, opening and selling DVDs cheaper than Daves, I guess that signalled the end of Daves. Too bad, it was a great place to be.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 1:57 p.m. CST

    Spoiled and Whiney

    by sparkdog

    Man, it sure does suck, the way things are today. I mean, I have to actually go ONLINE and order an obscure film--it doesn't just magically appear in my DVD player PECISELY when I want to watch it! Goddamned country sucks! The big corporations are KILLING EVERYTHING! I was bitching about this to one of my friends--not the one who got his first job at a chain CD store, but the one who started a few months ago at the chain bokostore, which didn't replace a mom and pop store but in fact filled a bookstoreless gap we've had for five years. Yeah, they hate their jobs, too, even the guy who started at the video rental store and in six months was assistant manager and making twice what he started.#####Yeah, it sucks bad. I'd much rather go back to that M&P store run by the guy who had all those obscure horror movies--oh, wait, that store is still around, because the chain video store doesn't carry that kind of stuff. (He feels threatened by the Big Corporate Beast, of course, even though his sales are up because the Evil Corporate Place refuses to rent certain types of movies! Damn, what bastards they are! My friend would have purged his store of all those Oscar-winning movies and foreign films...except he's never carried them. Hmmm, when the chains don't carry certain titles they're censoring bastards, but when my friend does it that's freedom of osmething or other.)#######I await a post from someone who can't find a certain DVD, conveniently (like that's in the Bill of Rights). I'm looking over at the ten previously viewed flicks I got for $5 each at the chain monster--sci fi, action, David Lynch--and I curse those chainstore-owning bastards for making my life hell.#########P.S. As someone who actively seeks out owner-operated stores to work in, I recall the Evil Corporate Bastards who gave me health and dental benefits, 401ks, holidays off (I especially liked the bookstore that, once they put in a cafe ala Starbucks, became a "restaurant" and thus scooted around the law, making even us non-restaurant employees work without time and half pay on holidays. Way to go Pop!)....#####This socially-progressive American will take a corporate, efficient dvd seller who's able to give me a good product over low cost over some romantic notion of what a M&P store is (as opposed to the pipe dream of what a M&P store truly is) any day.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 2:02 p.m. CST

    P.S. To Spoiled

    by sparkdog

    Sorry I posted without checking for spelling errors. This godamned corporate-created spellcheck thing actually has to be TURNED ON! By ME! Damned corporate swine expect me to click that little "on" thing! Fascist bastards!

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 2:02 p.m. CST

    Geez, you back-woods DVD-hating freaks...

    by IAmJacksUserID

    -----I cannot believe I just heard someone say...I mean admit in public, that they actually prefer VHS over DVD? My God, you are like one of those hillbilly morons I deal with at work that are like, "do you still have movies on tape", and I get to coldy, and proudly, reply, "well, doubtful." I then inform them that there is the present technology of DVD available and that whatever they are looking for it most likely available on it and not that 8 track of movie technology that is called VHS. But I get an empty lifeless stare and the pitiful whine of declaration that they "don't got that DVD thing." So I gasp surprisingly at their revelation and sulkingly reply, "well, if you walk past like 10 or 11 aisles of DVDs, I believe the VHS aisle (with heavy emphasis on the word's singular nature)is the VERY last one on the end." They then trot off dejectedly towards their ancient goal and I watch disheartedly at the very epitome of the public. To see that this person who actually found their way somewhere other then around their house or monkey cage is someone who rather well represents humanity; civilization. This is a person who would prefer all things to stay the same because their barely post-simian mind cannot grasp or tolerate change bcause it requires new thought. It's different. They fail to understand the nature of things. Technology must evolve. Things must get better. Do you think anyone cares that toilet paper improved? No. But it is the collective, mutual improvement of ALL things, no matter how trivial, that moves this world and it's very nature further ahead towards a better tomorrow. And I hold you people responsible for absolute ingnorance and refusal to accept that change that is required. -----And did I just hear someone proclaim their ignorance in the vlaue of DVD over VHS? Allow me to educate you with my hammer of knowledge over that thick, empty cranium, my invalid friend. First of all, the sound AND picture is remarkably better. And it rarely matters of the equipment you have, although receievers and larger then 20 inch televisions are preferable and reveal the greatest improvement. Secondly, one which is overlooked, there is the posterity of the format. I bet your rather limited mind didn't know that everytime you watch a VHS, there is a very small yet existent loss of quality and life within the tape because there is contact being made between the material and the player. What does that translate to, you childishly ask? It means, and I have a friend as proof, that the tape will eventually break if viewed enough times. Even though the possibility to damage a DVD is great, especially in the hands of the mentally-challenged Joe Public, if taken care of it can last forever. Keep in mind that DVD players have ten times the error correction of CDs so scratches are usually ineffective. Thirdly, and I think is the very heart of new technology, it allows much more versatility and interactivity because of it's huge storage space. Features, deleted scenes, outtakes, etc... If I love a movie enough, I will want to be exposed to every possible thing about that film. And DVD does it. If you don't care about that sort of thing, just press play and enjoy the movie in the best way possible. And while we are talking about value, did you know that most DVDs that would comprise a two-part VHS set are usually cheaper on the single part DVD counterpart? How's that for value, my misguided friends? -----And a word on Mori's jab at corporation. Don't forget about Suncoast. Even though they were bought out by a corporate monster, they still stock a decent selection of sometimes hard to find items. Speaking of the corporate monster, I will have to admit that Best Buy did an OUTSTANDING job of helping to pave the road for DVD. They told their salespeople to sale players to people when they came out, they usually had the biggest selection of titles, and still today they support the format with great prices and a good, always expanding selection.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 2:05 p.m. CST

    My favorite part of Dave's

    by L Ron Hubbard

    I was a regular customer back in the 90's and spent WAY more than I should have on Lasers at Dave's. The selection was great and the prices were decent but what I enjoyed most were my chats with Drew. His love of movies was obvious and we would spend time sharing our views on old and new films. When I'd see a film at the theater, I couldn't wait to get in to Dave's to talk about it with Drew. He and Chris were two of the nicest guys you could meet. When Drew had his first play produced at a Showtime showcase, I attended and was blown away by his talent. The one act play he and his partner wrote was a brilliant, taut, two character piece about a bigoted cop turning to a jewish lawyer after the cops' shooting of a black man turned into a Rodney King type of media circus. Though we had spent a lot of time in the store talking about the Star Wars type of blockbuster movie, Drew showed me he had the ability to write with passion and depth about issues and character. I remain immensely impressed by his writing ability and the passion that still drives him. The reason I come back to this site day after day is because reading Moriarity's reviews reminds me so much of walking into Dave's and spending a little time with Drew.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 2:08 p.m. CST

    Blockbuster Blues

    by Evil Chicken

    Renting from Blockbuster is like sleeping with the enemy. For a while they were the only game in town and no one "went home happy." The employees only sneered and they had no passion for film. Now that there are more choices for places to rent DVDs the market has a chance to balance. If you walk into my local Blockbuster (in the swamps of Jersey) it's amazing to see how much customer service has improved. Tough shit if employees have to treat people with a modicum of respect. I did the clerk job myself and the simple fact is that you get more repeat customers if you treat people like people instead of meat. This article is a touching one and I never set foot into Dave's Video. Sadly, Ma and Pa need corporate power behind them anymore; that or a web site.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 2:08 p.m. CST

    Erm, OrionsAngel...

    by BarrelRider

    ...what in Satan's name?

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 2:22 p.m. CST


    by dj supersoul

    that place was really, REALLY expensive and i never saw any "A list" people there - only Matthew Lillard and the guy that played Grant on the Gary Shandling Show. It was still a good place to browse though.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 2:27 p.m. CST

    Blockbuster is rubbish

    by Roger Thornhill

    What a pathetic excuse for a video store Blockbuster is. All they carry are the latest Hollywood releases...or so it seems. They do have a foreign section for VHS (which is mediocre) but none yet for DVD(at least the last time I checked). Since I live in a bloody suburb with only video chain stores like Blockbuster I am forced to use netflicks to rent DVDs. Which I suppose is fine because they have a good selection of films.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 3:01 p.m. CST

    For those who hate Blockbuster

    by cyber

    Hollywood video is a much better rental place. I can't believe noone mentioned Hollywood in the tbs. They have a really huge indie section, and the employees there almost always recommend a indie flick over one of the newest releases. If anyone has a hollywood video nearby I highly recommend them. From one geek to all the geeks burned by Blockbuster.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 3:03 p.m. CST

    I go to a similar store in Kansas

    by Cap'n Chaos!

    I attend a locally owned store here in the middle of nowhere, as it were and love it. He'll order anything you want and tries (very successfully) to keep all his prices within a buck of the big boys. He has an adult section, which I haven't used, but am glad to know is there should the time ever arise *ba dum chee!* and one hell of a lot of cult titles. He's even got seperate sections for Troma, Monty Python and Mystery Science Theater 3000. Fortunately, the guy is doing great. He's expanded into a third store this last month. Maybe it's because he has great customer service and will listen to my bullshit in an attempt to get me just what I'm looking for. It's not perfect, of course: Lots of times he's been fucked over by anime companies when stores like Sam Goody decide to up their orders leaving him high and dry, but he always apologizes and explains what's going on when there are delays instead of hiding behind the "retailer veil of secrecy." I appreciate that.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 3:06 p.m. CST

    Too Much

    by Music2video

    I love daves as a laserdisc store. But when they moved to DVD it was hard to shop there because of the costs. Even the sale prices was over twenty dollars. I use to buy loads of LD from there and when they went to dvd I think I bought something like 2 dvd's. I will miss the store but if you charge 5 to 10 dollars more for a disc I can get from a another a block away your will lose business.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 3:13 p.m. CST

    Good job Moriarty

    by frosteey

    I don't care about the bitching people are saying about this article, it was emotional and well-written. And Hollywood Video better than Blockbuster? I'll vote republican before I walk into either of those stores.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 3:15 p.m. CST

    First rule of the new millenium...

    by servaas1

    Its just I'm a little bit down about DVD's.... (maybe because its the 30th) and I just really hate it how people are buying all these sets under the assumption that once everybody has a dvd player things will slow down and price's will go down. Because it won't! instead of making the world a hardcore movie viewing world and driving back the piracy all that is happening is the same with MP3 & CD's. TPTB are keeping all prices artifically high because they can! And we (damm yes even I who though I would never fall for this crap, well hoped for.) are the suckers that just buy this BS. Some things are good about it; I mean I love Fight Club! I would pay almost what ever amount for it. But it just bugs me how some title's who have no extra's (read: no reason) and were released on video ages ago to cost the same as the title's that were released today! Be that Blade 2 or Donnie Darko! Example of good thing: Back To The Future TB. Good things don't have to cost that much... Who here dares to say that we will have DVD's in 20 years?

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 3:28 p.m. CST

    Wow, IAmJacksID, you sure sound like a prick.

    by Smeg For Brains

    Yes DVD is better than VHS. We all know that, so you don't have to tell us. But thanks for letting us know what an ass you are to the customers you deal with. Just because someone isn't into the format you prefer you don't have to treat them baddly. Not everyone cares about movies that much. They don't care about widescreen, or Dolby 5.1 (you probably prefer DTS being an elitist prick). They just want to watch Stepmom. So what? What does it matter to you wether they want VHS? Your like the Car buff that would make fun of my beater car. I would just laugh at them for thinking I care what they think about my car. I hope you realize that the people who walk away from you are thinking one of two things. Either "what a fucking asshole", or "what a fucking loser". They are definitely not thinking "wow what a glorious fella, and I really should get a DVD player right away even though I watch a movie about once every two weeks and never buy them, because his ridicule has shown me the light".

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 3:32 p.m. CST

    This Just In: Market Pricing

    by Darth Brooks

    Those who whine about "it's all about money" - - well, duh! You think video-store owners are supposed to be some kind of goddamn Salvation Army for couch potatoes? And as to prices being "too high" - - they're selling, ain't they? Why drop prices if folks are willing to pay? Idiots. Go watch The View and shut up.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 4:02 p.m. CST

    LE VIDEO!!!!!!!

    by pablojakaffo

    For those of you who are into Reel Video, Hollywood Video, and Blockbuster, you haven't seen anything. Go to Le Video in San Francisco and report back to me what you think. It has EVERYTHING you ever wanted in a video store. It has obscure, independent, foreign films, and even unseen and banned films dating back many years.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 4:05 p.m. CST

    Another Dave's Fan

    by thepetemeister

    Hey moriarity: This is sad news indeed. I moved to LA (yes, the Valley) just over a year ago, and Dave's was one of the first places I discovered. I immediately fell in love with it -- only one of the reasons being that it was one of the only two places I could find in all of LA (Lazer Blazer being the other) that still carried LD's -- and became a regular customer. Just like you, I also interviewed for a job there, but sadly, was not hired. Sounds like I missed out big time. It was there, however, that I first learned of George Romero's planned "Dead Reckoning," and where I bumped into Frank Darabont one afternoon, who remembered me from the stint I pulled as a PA on reshoots of "The Green Mile" in North Carolina. I haven't been there in a while, as I started working for 20/20 Video (at Sepulveda and Victory, if anyone wants to drop in and chat), and so rent for free these days, but whenever someone's looking for something we don't have, Dave's has been the first place I refer them to. This truly is a travesty, and Dave's will be missed sorely. - "Platinum" Pete Kavadlo

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 4:40 p.m. CST

    Mourning Dave's Video

    by ejkdreamer

    I've been a loyal customer of Dave's Video since moving to LA in '94. I bought my first Laserdisc player there, and spent quite a few paychecks building a laserdisc collection. When we bought our house in late 1996, my wife gave in to my pleas for a big-screen TV for the new den, and, of course, Dave's was my point of purchase. And when the industry moved to DVDs in 1998, it was at Dave's that I bought a combi player so that my Laserdiscs and DVDs could live in harmony. I will truly miss the place - the special order discs, the high-end equipment, the vast rental library, the director signings, the "upcoming releases" sheets that became my collector's checklist - and most of all, I will miss the intelligent, knowledgable and friendly staff who made shopping there a downright enjoyable experience. I want to give special props to a couple of the sales guys - Matt, who always made sure to say "Hi" and ask how I was doing, and Pete, who went so far as to come to my house when my TV went on the fritz, so that we could expedite the warranty repair with Toshiba. I've watched as other Mom & Pop stores in that shopping center have closed - the toy store next door, the luggage shop, both replaced by corporate stores - and I never gave a thought to the possibilty of losing Dave's until last Sunday, when I stopped in to do some Christmas gift shopping and found only a spartan inventory. When asked, the clerks told me that no new discs were being ordered, and they voiced their fears that time was running out for the store. My final purchase there was the Cinefex with Gollum on the cover. By my next visit to the shopping center, the store was closed permanently. I'm rambling on now, so let me just conclude with a suggestion for the future of the store. Perhaps Image Entertainment would see fit to acquire Dave's, just as they did with competitor "Ken Crane's" and make the store a "DVDPlanet L.A." to complement their Orange County store. There's already a great location, huge rental inventory, and a fantastic staff. Just a thought. Goodbye Dave's - It was good to have known you.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 4:45 p.m. CST

    Chester whateverfuck wick and Shit for Brains...

    by IAmJacksUserID

    Wow, you two morons couldn't be further from the truth. Thanks for letting me know of your true intellects with your half ass assumptions about me. Nothing demonstrates ignorance more then trying to assess someone by their one post. AND BEING TOTALLY WRONG. Congratulations. And I did not in any way imply that I treat people badly. More of your moronic insinuations. In my mind I was thinking that. And I have spent years explaining to people why they should get DVD and probably have made quite a few people happy by educating them on certain things that most of them had no clue about. And working around people you do discover things about society that are very disturbing. And no, Mr Apropriately-Handled-Talkback-Troll SMEG, I do NOT prefer DTS. But I guess I would be an elitist prick because I do not share your views? Wow. Now you have also demonstrated your hypocracy. And CHESTER, your power of description of Klingons and SheHulks is most impressive. But I suppose after looking at the very thing you describe so eloquently every morning in the mirror after you awake from your post-ejaculatory Counselor Troi-induced- jizz coma makes it quite second nature to you.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 4:58 p.m. CST

    nice story

    by Jabbathenutt

    nice to get a glimpse of Drew's start. As for the store, that is unfortunate, but if there is money to be made in a niche there is always someone who will come along and figure out a way to do it.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 5:18 p.m. CST

    All Mom and Pop can be bad

    by ChrisPC24

    Until recently, my town had nothing but mom and pop video stores, the nearest Blockbuster was 30 miles away! Let me tell you, it wasn't that great. Most of them didn't have DVD, and practically no classic films. The non-new release section was a bunch of worn out Shannon Tweed and Jean-Claude Van Damme videos. Blockbuster opened, and I was finally able to rent some real films, like Kubrick and Hitchcock, on DVD!

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 5:27 p.m. CST

    Fear not, videophiles

    by Joey Stylez

    There is a place in Seattle called Scarecrow Video. They sell and rent DVD'S, LD'S, video Cd's and even VHS. They have a monster selection and the employees pride themselves on knowing film. Best of all, you can browse and buy their stuff online at This is great for people like me who don't live anywhere near Seattle. Go there now.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 5:48 p.m. CST

    I wish there were stores like that here.

    by NJM

    Just a video store that has everything I'm looking for. I mean, I've got more video store memberships than I know of (and probably late fees at most of them). I've got Hollywood Video, Blockbuster, Family Video, and a few local chains. Nothing really comprehensive. I want to rent BLOODLUST: SUBSPECIES III, I have to goto this Blockbuster, I've got to drive 20 minutes north of here, but I can drive 5 minutes and rent the original SUBSPECIES. Or I want to rent PHANTASM III, I've got to drive 15 minutes east of here. I live in the south suburbs of Chicago and I have rental memberships from Mokena to Homewood to Chicago Ridge. The Blockbusters & Hollywoods don't have the rarer stuff, but the local chains don't have consistent DVD selections. I mean, they'll have like two Bond movies, two STAR TREK movies, one FRIDAY THE 13th, LETHAL WEAPON 1, 2, & 4, and HIGHLANDER 2. Or only the pan-and-scan of this, but then, both pan-and-scan & the widescreen editions of this. One Blockbuster here dumped half of their VHS selection to accomidate a widely spaced DVD selection. In any case, it a hassle. I want to rent Movie-A, Movie-B, DVD-A, and DVD-B. But Blockbuster only has DVD-A, and Movie-B is rented-out already. So, you goto Hollywood, and they have Movie-B, but they don't carry DVD-B or Movie-A. So, you goto a third store, and now you've got the 7-day rental from Blockbuster, the 5-days from Hollywood, and a 4-day & a 2-day from the local chain. And you wonder why you've got late fees. To sum up, it's a confusing hassle, and costs you more than you'd like. Plus, I'm obsessive & determined. Say, If I want to see the discontinued Criterion Edition DVD of RoboCop, and I KNOW I've seen it somewhere I rent at, I'll hunt ALL day & night for it! It's a nightmare for me, but I love my movies. I've rambled on FAR too long, and it probably all seems persistently repetitive to you all. Also, one little compliment to Mori....your a good writer, man. That description of Dave read like something from a novel. I thought it was a colorful & crisp description. Anyway, I've gotta go. -NJM - Visit Michalak.Org

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 5:53 p.m. CST

    F*ck stores

    by IAmLegolas

    Online is where it's at. No sales tax, free shipping and 25%-45% off *** *** I don't have an unlimited spending budget, I go where it's cheaper, that way I can use the money I save for more DVDs or other things in life.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 6:16 p.m. CST

    They were overpriced.

    by Oompacabra

    I often laughed out loud at some of the used dvd prices there. Been in twice, both times I bought one the 20/20 across the street. I hope that real estate becomes a restaraunt, if anything. It was way to big for the amount of merchandise anyway.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 6:38 p.m. CST


    by Zardoz

    That was our nickname for all of the customers that came into the aforementioned mega-videostore, Le Video. (Joe Bob says if you're ever in the Bay Area, check it out!) Oh, the stupid questions you'd get. For example, people coming in and asking for a film on video that was still in theatres: "Do you have Two Towers on Video?" And the frustration of trying to explain widescreen to the terminally moronic: "I don't like them black bars...the picture's smaller!" But oh, sweet Jebus, the perks! Going home with 3 or 4 LD's/night and recording them onto VHS! What's that, you say? Blasphemy! Well, since I couldn't afford to buy all of the LD's I wanted, it was much cheaper to record them. And there was no copy-guard on LD's, either! That's why the studios were never so gung-ho about LD's: they couldn't stop video piracy. And that's why they love DVD's: besides being cheaper to produce, they can copy-guard 'em. But guess what: I've got me a handy-dandy little device from Singapore that lets me copy DVD's to VHS or even another DVD! (Bwu-hahahaaaa!) I've still got my Pioneer LD player and my one LD that STILL isn't out on DVD, Lost Highway. (I sold the rest a few years ago when I saw the market bottoming out) And my VCR, and my two DVD players. (Yes, two: one in the computer, one in the PS2. They're gonna be putting DVD players in the toasters soon!) The Bottom line: DVD's are great, but they can't completely replace VHS yet; after all, I still have to record Buffy and 24 when I'm at work... (And make copies of LOTR:FOTR EX for friends and family!)

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 7:08 p.m. CST

    Dave's was overpriced anyway

    by ZO

    i hate sob stories about mom and pop stores. they're usually not as good as the big stores, more expensive, and have a staff that thinks they're too smart for their own good

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 7:18 p.m. CST

    Why all the bemoaning? Hasn't anyone taken a class in Business

    by JohnnyTremaine

    All business is Darwinian in nature. The one who offers a good or service faster, cheaper, and more efficiently, always wins out. Innovation and creativity, even in retail, is the name of the game. A mom and pop video store can do gangbuster business if they find a niche to compete in; specialize,specialize, specialize and offer great service. Just look at small bookstores that compete successfully against the large chanins. Look at the small coffee shops that do great business even within a block of a Starbucks (this, from a recent piece in The Wall Street Journal). I have an idea: how about a video/DVD store that caters to just hardcore science fiction and horror fans? It could be a theme store that offers sci-fi festivals, ex. Trek Day, or signings from sci-fi luminaries. The key is, you need to quit whining and use the gray matter between your ears.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 7:29 p.m. CST

    Your forgetting one thing....

    by jermh

    As consumers we have the ultimate power...buying power.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 7:30 p.m. CST

    There is one place in LA you should all check out!!!!!!!!

    by Floydof73

    Off the 405, take Santa Monica Blvd west, and on the corner of Santa Monica and Barry if a little place called A Video Store Named Desire. This place rocks! Huge selection(cramped quarters, however), new movies $.99 for one day, older one &.99 for six(!) days. Fuck Blockbuster, and Hollywood, with all their bullshit prices. By the time u return a movie one day late, you could have bought the sucker. Plus if there is anything Mike doesnt have, he'll get it for you. I mean, the guy actually dismisses late fees for regular renters. Nothing for sale, but at these prices, you can rent movies indefinitely. I highly recommend it!!

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 7:34 p.m. CST

    Good Riddance, Dave - from a former employee

    by boostergold

    Well, well, well. I came along well after Moriarty's time at Dave's, but I can tell you that story about Disneyland seems to belong to some other, idealized, dreamlike Dave's Video, not the one I worked at (for a year in the mid-90s). Sure, I wanted to work there cause I'd read about it before moving to L.A. and figured "If I'm gonna have to start out at $5.50 somewhere, better there than K-Mart. At least I'll have free rentals and LDs at cost!" Wrong! You don't get free rentals until you've been an employee for 90 days. You don't get a discount off LDs until you've worked there 6 months. And even then, it's just 10% off! But that's just bitching, right? So let's try this: the much talked about Studio Day, where film industry VIPs come to speak to their adoring public, and where Dave's Video staff members have to work all day with a tie on and aren't allowed to eat or drink any of the hors d'ouvres or water, or for that matter fraternize at all with the guests of honor. Remember that scene in Roger and Me when Moore shows the unemployed car factory workers having to play human mannequins at a garden party for rich white folks? It was something like that, as I recall. And then we get to Dave the Man himself. Never before or since has such a crotchety, curmudgeonly, I-hate-this-fucking-place-and-everybody-in-it grouch signed my paychecks. His interaction with the staff was, at best, curt and barely tolerated. He instead relied on a smarmy, Go-Team! general manager (who secretly hated him, I might add) to light fires under our asses or simply dash our individual hopes as needed. Now, just to make sure this doesn't read as a total negative diatribe, I will take a moment to sing a few bars of praise. When the entire world was caught up in the lo-res, p&s delusion of VHS...when home video was designed only to live up to the expectations of soccer moms, their blithering husbands and their jellystained rugrats...Dave's WAS a ray of hope for a better world, a letterboxed, supplementary sectioned, digital world. Think I'm being elitist? The success of DVD is all the defense I need. Even my grandmother knows now the difference between a teaser and a trailer. And Dave's was there when no other video retailer cared. Kudos for that. The Staff? Yeah, we were the bomb. I remember crowing for weeks over my 100% score on their employee entrance exam, a now-legendary test of movie lore and knowledge that was a prerequisite for employment there. They took it THAT seriously. And I did meet a number of famous and infamous people in my time there, some of whom I caught up with later during my eventual (and thank goodness, still ongoing) tenure in the actual motion picture industry. But these virtues are not enough to help me shake off the bad vibes. I remember a staff meeting in which I was ordered to tell all customers who asked that this "DVD thing" was no threat to the LaserDisc and would most likely be a passing fancy like MiniDisc, even though advance word and logic suggested nothing if not the contrary. I recall overhearing a conversation between Dave and a rep from Warner Home Video in which the following words were spoken: "We're burying our LD program whether DVD flies or not, so consider this a heads up." Still we were told to maintain our position. "Don't let them lose confidence in LaserDisc," I was told. "Keep them buying." Now, you can't fault him for his survival instincts, but the "trailblazing vision" of Dave Lukas was, by that point, a thing of the past if it ever existed at all. My efforts to get the store up and running on the (still fledgling, at the time) worldwide web hit a brick wall, too. Perhaps if that had been taken seriously, this thread would not exist. Or maybe I am just blowing smoke up my own ass. Irrelevant, in any case. And finally, we come to the all- important, much-talked-about "profit margin". Even when Dave's was at the top of their game, they were never cheap. Their bread and butter was the customer service and selection, and they were able to get away with charging an arm and a leg because their clientele could afford it. The playing field changed, Dave was unwilling to or unable to change his game plan along with it, and the demise of his store is a clear example of stubborness in the face of adversity, fear of change and, ultimately, bad business management. The closure of his business itself says all that needs be said about the Man. He had the bull by the horns, but was too worried about the china shop itself. And now he is gone. Rest in peace. And keep working on that smile. You'll get it right eventually.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 7:54 p.m. CST

    Ancient Lights, you're making my point...

    by JohnnyTremaine

    ...more competition in the marketplace benefits consumers---and if a business owner can't compete, he either needs to A) change his business model so he CAN stay competitive, or B) go into a new line of work. It sounds cutthroat but nobody ever claimed the business world was supposed to be NICE.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 8:24 p.m. CST

    Its all happening at the library for me

    by Neilb

    I loathe ballbuster and Hollywood video, brainless twerps pushing pure garbage flicks (do we really ever need another Julia Roberts film...ever?) I lucked out, I live in a college town, the local library has over 500 DVD's and damn near all of the Criterion Collection (cept for the out of print ones), and a great supply of TV titles, although they don't have #11 and #12 of The Prisoner..grrr. If I'm not buying it, I get it there, 7 days, no rental fees and I know that they are just gonna keep adding great films.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 8:43 p.m. CST


    by Theta

    I really appreciate how you feel about your job. Hell, I HATED my bosses and I'll always remember my first movie theater job. I would like to point out, though, that due to this wonderful invention that has given you fame and glory, the Internet, and also due to DVD technology, we're able to access more movies from more places around the world now than ever before. It used to be you needed some pretty hardcore video conversion equipment to see, say, a French action movie or an Indian musical. Now you need a Net connection and $20. Shit, I don't even SHOP at places like FYE or Virgin Megastore anymore. I only show up if they're clearing stock or if I can't find something anywhere else. You also forgot Borders, which, at least in Burlington Vermont, is consistently cheaper than the bricks-and-mortar competition and has a 3000+ title selection. So I wouldn't be TOO concerned...

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 9:57 p.m. CST

    Fuck you, ChesterJLampwick.

    by CoolDan989

    It's obvious you're trying to make a pathetic, futile attempt to bring down this site. Well, I got news for you, with all the attention and acclaim this site gets that's never gonna happen. Ain't It Cool News still posts gossip, but it isn't just about that. It's about delving into news we already know uncovering facts we don't, and helping us spend or save a buck on a movie, and giving people with good ties to the movie industry their 15 cyber-minutes of fame. I for one am very thankful this site is here for that, and of course for the talkbacks to give your opinions on an issue and talk to others. And I don't care if you're being an asshole because you got banned for badmouthing Harry or anybody, because you probably deserved it. Harry Knowles does not take so much valuable fucking time out of his fucking day to maintain this site when he can stop anytime just so he can be INSULTED by UNGRATEFUL BASTARDS like you. Learn to show some gratitude, you fucking punk, or take your bitching elsewhere.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 10:24 p.m. CST

    Now I get it...

    by Electric Tsunami

    ---- Oh, the stupid questions you'd get. For example, people coming in and asking for a film on video that was still in theatres: "Do you have Two Towers on Video?" ---- NOW I understand why the newspapers have taken to advertising "Only in theaters" next to the new theatrical releases, I didn't think that people were that dumb.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 10:32 p.m. CST

    RIP Dave's.

    by FortyWatto

    I go to Dave's most Mondays, when it's 2-for-1 rentals (Where the hell else can you rent 2 Werner Herzog films for 3 bucks and keep 'em till Friday?) and tonight was to be no exception. Guess my plans are off. I'm stunned. And very sad. To the staff: Good Luck in your future adventures (and unload those out-of-print Criterions on e-bay)

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 10:40 p.m. CST


    by Electric Tsunami

    Do you have a city for that Peanut Butter story? Maybe some initials? May be able to confirm it with another witness...

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 10:57 p.m. CST

    The future of DVD retail is online

    by Electric Tsunami

    For the larger DVD manufacturers,'s price search will offer up the "best" retail prices for DVDs (DeepDiscountDVD doesn't have everything). DVDTalk is also useful to put home users in contact to share info on import titles/releases (region free/PAL capable machines are making the $25VHS bootlegger a thing of the past). Add to this independent DVD manufacturers who don't use the stores and distributors to release their wares (David Lynch is among them) and going to a store (big or small) will mean that you are likely to miss some titles. I know I can't afford everything I would like. I also don't learn of every release that I would like to own. I don't have any problems locating several titles that I would like to own for $8-15. When these online prices are 25-40% off a storefront's price, I will only look at store merch when I've got a gift certificate in my hand (and I'll be kicking myself trying to get the maximum return on that certificate).

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 10:58 p.m. CST

    This has been happening to mom and pop for years.

    by dumbpeoplesuck

    The big box stores have been shutting mom and pop stores for years. The last decade, in fact. Unless you live in a very rural area, chances are you do much of your grocery shopping, hardware shopping, misc, and even entertainment shopping within the confines of one or two bix box type store, or a Wal Mart super-de-dooper center somewhere. They have left no choices to the consumer, and EVERYONE'S SERVICE SUCKS! That is where the tragedy is in this whole thing! Just as Dave's customers would have told you, I strongly suspect. The days of walking into a beloved place "where everybody knows your name" are freaking gone. Just gone. Customer service? What the hell is that? I'll tell you...a thing of the past. I'd rather buy my merchandise off ebay where you can see by feedback what kind of service you can expect than give it to any retailer. I feel like mom and pop, the ones who were rolled off by the big-boxes, are now trying to make it online, and that is one teeny reason for the success of online ventures like ebay. Just a matter of time before they find a way to screw that too, though.

  • Dec. 30, 2002, 11:28 p.m. CST

    Blockbuster is not pure evil...

    by Salvatore

    I live in Sydney Australia, and there's a Blockbuster on New South Head Rd that's probably one of the best stores I've ever been to. The staff - especially the manager - really know their shit, and it's massive, well spread out, with a great range of titles (plenty of cult classics) and even computer games to rent. In stark contrast is a video store which has just opened in my neighbourhood, which is just abysmal. Lack of DVDs aside, I don't think I've ever seen more inept staff in my life. Last time I went there, no one was in the store, they were just sitting outside and talking to each other. I don't know how it is in the states, but in this case, the 'little guy' deserves to be put out of business...

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 12:02 a.m. CST

    Mom and Pop stores are only going to be saved by ONE THING AND O

    by Mr Fuckinstuff

    And that thing is PORN! It's sad, but it's true. I've been working at a small video store forever and we forced a Blockbuster to fuck off. Of course we had to nearly double our inventory and rent out extra space, spend on remodeling etc., but the store looks about a thousand times better. I'm not too proud of the fact that we get a bunch of quiet, freaky, lawyer types in here, looking for crush-vids and gore-porn but it's the price you pay for your own spot in the world. The plain-old video store part does it's share of business too, but thanks to the glory of the millions of guys who don't get any, our profit margin has and hopefully always will be what it is today. Not only that, but the people who work here, KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT FUCKING FILM!!!! I went into a Hollywood and asked about where to find a copy of "Body Double" and the motherfucker had never heard of it. This same asshole claims that "Raiders of the Lost Ark" has always been called "Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark" That kind of thing makes me want to put explosives in the night drop. But, seriously, if you're thinking of opening a small video store these days, rent enough space to have the biggest fucking adult section within five miles of your location and then expand accordingly. It's the only way you'll ever survive.

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 1:15 a.m. CST

    yeah, fuck Blockbuster and I wanna hear the Culkin and Jackson s

    by Tall_Boy

    c'mon dude, you threw it out there, you GOTTA say it.

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 2:03 a.m. CST

    mom and pop stores

    by liljuniorbrown

    We need a place to go rent things that blockbuster won't carry because they think they're better than that.I'm the first to tell you i don't like anime,anime porn,movies that consider explecit brutal rape as art .I don't hate or judge people that do but i'm just throwing that out there to get a point across.This is America,the same rights that protect my opinions protect the opinions of the people i dissagree with.Why does hollywood and America embrace small independent movies like My Big fat stupid ass greek wedding, but if it dosn't they wouldn't give a national release to Love Liza? If there is a small place in your area shop there. I know i will,it's the American way.

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 2:34 a.m. CST

    I must apologize if I did sound like that...

    by IAmJacksUserID

    I do so here declare my apology to those who took offense to my post, I did not mean to sound like a prick but perhaps I did. You're right; what does it matter how someone enjoys a film as long as they did. Sometimes in the hoopla of technology we forget the very heart of what this technology is about, the art. I read DVD review sites and they base their reviews on quality and supplements and ROM material and what-not and leave out the quality of the FILM ITSELF. It doesn't matter how many commentaries or anamorphic remasterings they give The Animal; it's still a shitty flick. I guess I just want everyone to enjoy film at it's best quality and without the burden and dubiousness of pan and scan and mono sound. I want the world to advance and edge it's way towards peace and all that. Maybe DVD isn't in itself the answer but it is a step in the right direction. --- I am sorry to those I have offended.

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 3:09 a.m. CST


    by critikal

    I recently moved to the Lakeway area of Austin (read: Butt-Numb-a-Fucked Egypt) from just two blocks away from Dave's Laser Place in Studio City to pursue my film career. In and of itself, that move could be the subject of it's own 'state of the film industry' talkback. In the last few months I was in Los Angeles, I decided to give what little money I recieved from unemployment to Dave. Call it an act of ignorant benevolence if you must, but it was really much more of an obsession. A 5 dvd rental a day habit harder to kick than a Lucy Van Pelt football. Night after day after night I cuddled next to the warm glow of a slowly dying television set and a 5.1 lullaby so that I may love, loathe and learn everything about anything I didn't already know about watching or making movies. I actually went to film school - yet I learned far more simply from those last few months of geeking out (not to mention, I didn't have to sit through Nanook of the North or Intolerance again.) I feel for those of you who have written here about what an asshole Dave was to work for... I really do - but you never showed it. You were always very cool and patient with me, even when I was frequently the last person in the store at 10 minutes past closing time with a stack of movies in my arms and still deciding if tonight was the night I would be in the mood for Fellini or Kurosawa. And I in turn, was patient with you when I would hurridly ask a question and recieve a thesis digression on details and opinions of the film/director/actor I was asking about and the other films/directors/actors which you somehow related to my question, as if you were playing 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon. So I say - who cares if Dave was a dick? He was a visionary (and I say this because of the influence of the cult sucsess of his original Laser Disc store and it's close proximity to the studios and important Hollywood players far before anyone even thought of DVDs)... and he payed your rent and put me through a crash course film school. I can't really understand that the declining profit margin is the reason he went out of business. This year, DVDs out sold video for the first time. And wholesale DVDs are FAR less expensive than wholesale video EVER was. I don't know if it is still the case, but video rental stores used to purchase most video new releases for in between $40-$100 per video. They would make money off of rentals (mostly off of late fees). They'd then make some additional money when they sold the overstock as previously viewed. Most DVDs on the other hand can be purchased wholesale for around $4-$10. DVD-only stores also take up less room, saving money on rent. And independent specialty stores like Dave's, Eddie Brandt's, Vulcan Video and Video Station (which I am highly disapointed to hear about - I used to live in Boulder, as well), will always have a niche market. For jesus sakes - the closest video store to where I live is Hollywood Video. I went in there... once. These behemoth corporate drive-thru's all have 100 copies of the same crap purchased by some double half-caf latte drinking idiot pilates student in a suit and a baby ponytail. That will never change. Now I drive 20 miles each way to go to Vulcan Video in Downtown Austin... as I would imagine every movie buff in Austin does. People like us go out of our way to find these places - we are celuloid junkies who can be inspired and humbled by a darkened room filled with the sights and sounds of the factual and fictional plain and extraordinary triumphs and defeats of people who are not ourselves. We are addicts and need our fix and always will. R.I.P. Dave's and Video Station and all else who will fall victim to greed or bordem. Hey Harry, want to open a DVD only store in Austin with me?

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 3:09 a.m. CST

    Lost my local comic shop a short while ago...

    by Anti-fanboy

    Major bummer losing a place like that after having it as a mainstay in your life for years and years. I worked there when I was 13 and ran the place on Mondays during the summer when I was just 14 (I never gave it a second thought, as far as labor laws, and apparently no one else did either). Got paid in comics, usually, which was ideal, since that's what I would have bought with my paycheck anyway -- my collection grew like crazy. That was fifteen years ago. In the years between, I stopped in regularly. Still close with the two guys I worked there with. The owner was like an uncle, a Vietnam vet, and one of the toughest, coolest, most generous guys I've ever met. Had a knack for storytelling that was awe-inspiring. Really miss him in the context of the store, which is an odd thing to say, but that's how I knew him best... Man, do I ever miss that place.

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 3:36 a.m. CST

    Cult and obscure DVD

    by Electric Tsunami

    There are a surprising number of Something Weird, AIP (via MGM Midnight), Euro (Bava, Franco, Argento, and more), Nick Zedd, Richard Kern, Herzog, Suzuki,HK, Rudy Ray Moore, etc. films available on DVD at Best Buy and even cheaper at Fry's. Just because Blockbuster-wood won't rent them doesn't mean anything. Why rent a cult film for $3.50 when you can buy it for $10-$14? I just wish that Sinister Cinema would get out of the DVD-R game and release pressed (and remastered) DVDs. I'll buy the obscure stuff on DVD first (it was odd enough that some of these titles were released to DVD once, I'm not counting on a DVD2.0 reissue like I am the Bond discs). Besides some of the A-list titles I already have on LD thank you very much (it's why my DVD collection seems more lowbrow or scattershot than it really is).

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 3:50 a.m. CST

    video rental

    by Electric Tsunami

    When it comes to video rental I do tend to patronize the indie/"mom and pop" stores but that is because the titles are locally stocked and there is a greater chance of out of print titles being available. When Tarentino did his "Pimp Night" at the Alamo I missed it. However, here in Houston Audio Video Plus had the Mack (which I already had on LD), The Chinese Mack, and Saint Jack (which has since seen a DVD release with commentary). A/V Plus has always wanted full retail on their laser discs and DVDs and refused to rent either (they still have sealed 8mm videotapes of theatrical releases for sale for full price). They are good on the VHS (and BETA) rental side but not so good on retail. Cactus Music/Video is more receptive on the video rental side and they are building up a sizeable DVD section. Some movies that I see theatrically I will rent on DVD just for the commentary/extra footage. I don't want to own these titles but I do want to understand them more. Occassionally I will preview a title that I want this way. Mondays are a bargain with 2-for-1 rentals (2 DVDs for $3). From what I've seen, Austin offers even more in cult video (and Dallas has at times).Rental will always fill a niche where you just don't (know if you) want to own a title (or can't). It is also good for providing "new" audiences to view a film (those who subscribe to cable for AMC or Turner could be buying several movies for their library instead). Some cinema is referential (anyone who has seen Lost Highway should see Kiss Me Deadly) without being a remake. Not everyone will want to own all of these titles but they will enjoy the ride all the same.

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 4:24 a.m. CST

    Random comments about independent video stores

    by Bryan

    I work at a long-running, movie buff-oriented independent video store (Scarecrow Video in Seattle) so this was an interesting story to me. I have a few comments in response to the talkbacks and other random info. * First of all, summing up business as "Darwinian" and asking us not to lament the loss of a better, less profitable video store is to completely not understand Moriarty's thesis, or the act of having a human soul. The fact is that superior service and selection DO have a hard time surviving, because quality is more expensive. The businesses most likely to survive are the ones that pay their staff less, rotate them faster, do not stock titles that will rent less, and most importantly have deals with the studios so they can buy the movies for cheaper. It is actually NOT POSSIBLE for independent stores to get things as cheap as Blockbuster or Hollywood because the chains have (possibly illegal) deals with the studios based on the amount of product they buy. So then they can sell them for cheaper and the independent stores have to put up with people who don't understand that reality complaining that they are jacking up the prices. Fortunately, our store has managed to overcome all odds and survive for over a decade while rarely making a profit. We (as in the store, not me personally) got into dvd early, started selling on the internet, and started selling region free dvd players at all the right times. And yes, as someone mentioned, PORN! * Porn is the secret. Porn and anime rentals are our backbone. We are known for our directors section, our huge selection of foreign films, our rare out of print titles and our 60,000 or so movies but we could never have done it without the help of Barely Legal and Ranma 1/2. Blockbuster doesn't carry that stuff. * By the way, VHS is not entirely dead. Most of our customers have switched over to dvd but there are literally thousands (tens of thousands?) of films people want that are not yet available on dvd. Everything from ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST to ED WOOD to ROGER AND ME to INFRA-MAN. * At our store, people occasionally don't know what letterboxing is, but it is more often that we have trouble with people who do know what it is. For example, many people do not believe that Stanley Kubrick did not want his movies to be letterboxed because of the format they were shot in. They think the studios are skimping on his dvds when they are actually succumbing to the demands of his estate. Many people do not understand that there are cases when letterboxing IS cutting off the top and bottom. * We also have the people asking for movies that are still in theaters. But we made it hard on ourselves when we started getting region coded dvds or vcds of things like Crouching Tiger, Amelie and Spirited Away while they were still in theaters. So now they have a legitimate reason to ask. * Finally I would like to say that we don't wear uniforms or nametags, we get free rentals from day 1, we have a good health insurance policy, and we can order and purchase anything at cost. We don't get paid much, though, and we never went to Disneyland, god damn it. * Anyway, sorry to hear about the loss of another beloved store. Support your local independent video store, please. Or else.

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 6:48 a.m. CST

    I live in Tucson, AZ....

    by Dolemite_fan

    and thankfully I have Casa Video ( in my city. Theyve been open for something like 25 years I believe, and have over 25 employees, and even a porn section (Booty Talk titles are...nice). The customer service is good, but the smartest thing they have in the store is a computer hooked up to I.E. that allows you to search their inventory freely. They also dont require a stupid rental card, just your driver's license. On Tuesday and Wednesday it's 2 for 1 night, but if there is one gripe I have, it's that their library titles are only 2 nights and should be 3 nights. They do A LOT of business, and are always jammed packed in there. Great store, definitely check it out sometime. I'll be hitting it Wednesday night as usual. Oh and for the person that hasnt seen A BOY & HIS that film as soon as you can, great sci-fi/desert-y film. The dog is just as charming as the pig from GREEN ACRES.

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 6:52 a.m. CST

    Future of DVD is full frame for the retard contingent.

    by whomod

    More and more i'm finding that stores are now carrying FULL FRAME only DVD's. From Sav-On to Kay Bee and the supermarkets, if you want Star Wars or Lord of the Rings or MIB II, all they offer is full frame. THIS unfortunately isthe future of DVD. More and more ignorant dumbasses who want that VHS "fill up my TV" experience transferred to their new DVD player. And more and more studios catering to their stupidity. I was there for Laserdisc and remeber the higher prices for the privilege of seeing an entire movie and not just 65% of one. Dave's Video was one of the places I'd shop to find those hard to find titles so i'll be missing it. When DVD rolled around I was in heaven and was one of the many former laserdisc enthusuasts who embraced the format and helped it suceed. some thanks we get now that it's succesful. Once again we're slowly being marginalized for actually knowing that a full 4X3 TV set image doesn't mean you're getting the full picture and "those annoying black bars" aern't covering up shit!

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 6:53 a.m. CST

    Future of DVD is full frame for the retard contingent.

    by whomod

    More and more i'm finding that stores are now carrying FULL FRAME only DVD's. From Sav-On to Kay Bee and the supermarkets, if you want Star Wars or Lord of the Rings or MIB II, all they offer is full frame. THIS unfortunately isthe future of DVD. More and more ignorant dumbasses who want that VHS "fill up my TV" experience transferred to their new DVD player. And more and more studios catering to their stupidity. I was there for Laserdisc and remeber the higher prices for the privilege of seeing an entire movie and not just 65% of one. Dave's Video was one of the places I'd shop to find those hard to find titles so i'll be missing it. When DVD rolled around I was in heaven and was one of the many former laserdisc enthusuasts who embraced the format and helped it suceed. some thanks we get now that it's succesful. Once again we're slowly being marginalized for actually knowing that a full 4X3 TV set image doesn't mean you're getting the full picture and "those annoying black bars" aern't covering up shit!

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 6:57 a.m. CST

    Future of DVD is full frame for the retard contingent.

    by whomod

    More and more i'm finding that stores are now carrying FULL FRAME only DVD's. From Sav-On to Kay Bee and the supermarkets, if you want Star Wars or Lord of the Rings or MIB II, all they offer is full frame. THIS unfortunately isthe future of DVD. More and more ignorant dumbasses who want that VHS "fill up my TV" experience transferred to their new DVD player. And more and more studios catering to their stupidity. I was there for Laserdisc and remeber the higher prices for the privilege of seeing an entire movie and not just 65% of one. Dave's Video was one of the places I'd shop to find those hard to find titles so i'll be missing it. When DVD rolled around I was in heaven and was one of the many former laserdisc enthusuasts who embraced the format and helped it suceed. some thanks we get now that it's succesful. Once again we're slowly being marginalized for actually knowing that a full 4X3 TV set image doesn't mean you're getting the full picture and "those annoying black bars" aern't covering up shit!

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 8:48 a.m. CST

    I am glad to be out of the video rental business

    by islander

    I have worked at a couple of video stores from the 1980's to 2000. When the last store I worked for closed I was a little sad. But also greatful. Working in a small store you know a lot of what goes on with your inventory and customers. In the final years of my video experiance the customers became the worst kind of clients. They have late fees, they knew it, they would get some one else in thier family to open an account, untill they got a huge fee.. and so on. Soon the family would stop coming in and each member of the family had a balance due. They would keep new expensive films out for two weeks, never return calls and when they did bring it in they had some story about how is was not thier fault it was because of someone else. And they would not want to pay the late fee "CAN I TALK TO THE OWNER?". And the constant lieing "I returned it on time Tuesday night!","Maam I worked Tuesday night, you did not return it then, I checked it in Friday, I remember calling you that mornig about it being late and it showed up 3 hours later in our drop box". We were cheaper than everyone else, had good inventory. Now those customers have to pay twice as much for the same title and over twice in late fees and from what I have been told you can't run to another Blockbuster to open account with our the other store late fee following you :) (good work guys)... If you ever want a real low opinion of the general public work in a video store. Now that I am out I am staying out. Shooting video is more fun then renting video and pays a lot better.

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 8:49 a.m. CST

    Shelf Space

    by Rand Race

    It's all about the shelf space a store has to display their wares. And Amazon's shelf space is, effectively, infinite.

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 8:51 a.m. CST

    I am glad to be out of the video rental business

    by islander

    I have worked at a couple of video stores from the 1980's to 2000. When the last store I worked for closed I was a little sad. But also greatful. Working in a small store you know a lot of what goes on with your inventory and customers. In the final years of my video experiance the customers became the worst kind of clients. They have late fees, they knew it, they would get some one else in thier family to open an account, untill they got a huge fee.. and so on. Soon the family would stop coming in and each member of the family had a balance due. They would keep new expensive films out for two weeks, never return calls and when they did bring it in they had some story about how is was not thier fault it was because of someone else. And they would not want to pay the late fee "CAN I TALK TO THE OWNER?". And the constant lieing "I returned it on time Tuesday night!","Maam I worked Tuesday night, you did not return it then, I checked it in Friday, I remember calling you that mornig about it being late and it showed up 3 hours later in our drop box". We were cheaper than everyone else, had good inventory. Now those customers have to pay twice as much for the same title and over twice in late fees and from what I have been told you can't run to another Blockbuster to open account with our the other store late fee following you :) (good work guys)... If you ever want a real low opinion of the general public work in a video store. Now that I am out I am staying out. Shooting video is more fun then renting video and pays a lot better.

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 9:05 a.m. CST

    To MCKevinGustafson, profit margins, and Le Video.

    by CHEET

    First of all, we have Out of the Past, if you mean the Tourneur film. We have it on VHS, and on an imported Region 2 PAL DVD. That's how far we go. If you mean the gay themed movie from 1997, got that, too. We also have it on Laserdisc. *** As an employee, whose opinions are my own and don't reflect the store policies etc., I understand that many customers believe us to be snobs, but to put it in perspective... Scarecrow employees do not stand around talking about movies all day. The job is hard, seriously. I've worked as a dishwasher, a waiter, and a bouncer and Scarecrow's the most exhausting of all of them. I worked a ten hour shift the day after Xmas. There has been one day in my entire time there that we stood around doing nothing (okay, we were watching Turkish Star Wars). We make less than 7 dollars an hour after taxes, barely enough to get by month to month full time (and hence only one employee actually lives on Capitol Hill). Now of course we are not going to be the cheeriest people imaginable all the time. I personally try to be friendly and helpful to customers despite my own personal life or what kind of day I'm having; and I think it works most of the time, and I believe that's how most of the staff try to be. I've had customers who I've had yell at me become friendly on a first name basis. I know some great customers pets' names. The fact is, we're underpaid and overworked but that's fine because we love the place. Funny to read about Dave's having a slender profit margin. I don't know if our store has ever even made a profit. That's a testament to the love the various owners and employees have towards the place. Stores like Scarecrow cannot compete price wise on sales like a Walmart or a Costco... We don't have the money or the national volume in order to buy in bulk to such a degree. I think I read Costco even loses money on all DVD sales hoping to recoup it on player sales. How the hell can a Mom and Pop outfit stand up to that? It can't... It can only go on, getting by a day at a time, run on nothing more than commitment and a genuine affection for the enterprise. Every time a customer comes in and gets a chance to see something like an old Miyazaki film or a Billy Wilder movie or a Leos Carax or an 18 year old comes in and gives Buster Keaton a shot, well that's what we're there for. If you'd like to give me specifics about the rudeness of the staff, please do, as I wish there was a way we could alleviate that nonsense or find a way to make customers feel like we're at least trying since it doesn't seem visible. Instead all I hear are vague stories about how we're too hip. To be honest, most of us can only afford thrift store clothes... It's not just an aesthetic thing. *** As for Le Video, that place blows. Most of their import titles are illegal low quality dubs, and they seriously have like 1/5th the inventory Scarecrow does. They also don't sell multi region players or things like the Futurama box sets, El Topo on DVD, or Battle Royale Region 0 NTSC.

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 9:37 a.m. CST

    To all of you who keep saying "Online is where it's at"

    by CHEET

    There are people left in the world who occassionally like to venture outside and go out to public places whereupon through social interaction they might discover things that were unknown. Online purchases are a last resort for me - i.e. the limited edition Kubrick figurine box set of Amelie. I prefer instead to go somewhere like my local comic book store or independent record store or Scarecrow video and say to the staff who are living neck up in the shit that makes up pop culture - what you got, what you heard about, what's the word on... It's the same way I like the Thai resturant where they're so nice to me sometimes when I come in they've made dishes that aren't on the menu and they don't even charge me for them. That's what Mom and Pop stores are all about. Good customers get good karma. I would much rather live in a world where I pay 5% more than everywhere else for a better experience from a much more knowledgeable, trusting staff.

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 10:37 a.m. CST

    Fuck the old days

    by Son Of Batboy

    Shit, I used to drool over ads in European film mags for a widescreen edition of Blue Velvet. When I finally tracked down a widescreen version of Lost Highway after its release, the damn thing cost 90 bucks. Had to wait another 6 months for the price to drop to $25. Now years later I can pick up new DVDs online from anywhere in the world for way less. Sure not all titles are out on DVD including Lost Highway, but if you can't wait there's tons of obscure shit on video you can get dirt cheap. Gone are the days where I'd have to call around to a dozen stores trying to track down some flick I'd heard about. I absolutely hated going to CockBuster Video but sometimes it was the only way to get my Fellini fix. Had to drive an hour each each way for the shit like some spazzing crack addict. Now I can proudly claim to be clean and sober from that shithole for 3 years. My local stores blew. Most of them died a quick death once BallBuster arrived. The ones in my area had jack shit anyway. Bunch of blank faced dopey students. Couldn't even find friggin HARVEY or THE FRENCH CONNECTION at those stores. Used to walk past shelves of screaming Macaulay Culkins to reach the exit. NEWS FLASH: Mom & Pop stores died a long time ago. It's every man for himself. People want shit fast and cheap. They don't give a fuck about a friendly face behind the counter. They'll dump their neighbor in a split second and buy from Al-Quaeda just as long as it saves them a buck. Everything I get is mail order. I'll stay in my tower. Screw the masses with their fullscreen. Just a matter of time before the asswipes fuck up DVD anyway. The signs are already there. By then some new format will be around anyway and people will weep at the passing of DVD. I for one won't miss the layer.....changes. God Bless the internet and long live mail order. Happy New Year.

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 11:28 a.m. CST

    As long as we're on the general subject, a word about Mom & Pop

    by spider15

    Let me start out by saying that generally speaking, I am VERY much for supporting Mom & Pop operations over the big, faceless multi-billion dollar chain stores. For starters, I WORK at a Mom & Pop operation. However, it seems to me that that whole ethic just HAS to be thrown to the wind when it comes to movie theaters. I live just outside of New York City, and there's a small two-screen Mom & Pop-operated movie theater right in the town where I live, walking distance from my apartment. A couple of years ago I went over there to see something, don't remember what it was (might have been "Armageddon") and I just remember what happend. When I got there, there was no one at the box office. After about five minutes and when a line formed behind me, a little old lady finally wobbled her way up to the window to sell me my ticket. When I stepped inside, there was a kid sitting on a stool. I presented my ticket. He didn't take it, didn't rip it or anything, just looked at it, and said "Theater Two." I had to bite my tongue to keep from saying "Don't hurt yourself on my account." The inside of the theater - where I had been several times before - the floors were sticky and the seats were falling off the hinges. When the movie started, the picture was out-of-focus through most of the previews - I was just glad the so-call projectionist fixed the problem (more or less) by the time the feature started. Now don't get me wrong: I haven't been to every Mom & Pop theater in the country, and I'm sure some of them can - and do - compete with the chain theaters. But most of the M &Ps theaters I've been to are much closer to the one I just described; and I think we all know at least one theater like this, don't we? Gimme the Lowes, AMC and UA Theaters or whatever any day! Staduim seating in those big easy-chair-type things, surperior surround sound, projectionists who actually do there job, and screening rooms and lobbies which are genearlly very clean (maybe because the owners and managers actually take the time to maintain them!). Now, if the crappy Mom & Pop movie theaters were offering something we couldn't see on the (relatively) big screen anywhere else - i.e. indie films, revivals, theme film festivals, what have you (pornos don't count) I might be willing to put up with all the quirks. I might even develop a fondness for them, like the obligatory generally shoddy conditions of better local Rock clubs. But this particular theater just shows the same Hollywood blockbusters that the chain theaters do! Now to be fair, a couple of years ago, the admission at this theater was only about $6, versus the $9 I would have paid for the chain theaters at that point. But sad to say, often you get what you pay for. And further to this paricular theater's credit, they DID make some major improvements a couple of years ago (and the ticket price did go up. Again, you geet what you pay for). Still... now some people are going to argue that these theaters can't possibly compete with the chains, so the vast decline in their quality and service was a result of the way they simply stopped caring, and who can blame them? That's no excuse. Also, the chain theaters have corporate money and can hire staffs which are big enough so they can sweep every theater after every screening etc. Also no excuse! We all know dozens of Mom & Pop operations where the owners and/or manager try to keep the appearence of the buisness the best it can keep and give the best possible service. Even with very small staffs, or even when it's just the owner pretty much running the show alone! Like I said, I work at a Mom & Pop operation, a CD store, and we try to keep the store looking the best it can, give a creative selection, and give the best service we can. One of the major record store chains has an outlet three blocks away, and near as I can tell, we haven't been hurt by them one bit. The manager of the chain store shops at our place!! And as I said, these Mom & Pop theaters should take a crack at catering to a different crowd and see what happens. Anyone else agree with me? Happy New Year.

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 11:37 a.m. CST

    DVD Stores

    by 3v1l

    I'm sorry but I have to disagree with not being able to get DVD's from big corporate companies. Wherehouse Music did an awesome job searching for a DVD that you can only buy online that the company went out of business for. You just have to ask these people and most of the time the people who worked in the mom & pop stores work in the corporate stores. Not someone like bestbuy who does more than just DVD's but wherehouse does music and DVD's and I their service is great. I'm rambling.

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 11:52 a.m. CST

    Boostergold's Tale Rings of Truth...

    by Thorn MS

    I've been an exec in business for 20 years, and I respect Booster's account of the life and times, and demise of Dave's due to bad business management. Too bad for Dave for not being a better business person, and more so for not being a better human being. I remember, too, that I stopped shopping Dave's not because I moved (though eventually I did), but over a dispute of his many tricksy pricing structure changes. He quietly changed the structure (yet again) and ending up costing me a bunch of late fees, and then pointed to a little sign that I was supposed to have seen. When he wouldn't waive it, I never went back and he lost a customer who spent a LOT there on both rentals and sales. That said, treating employees like crap is not tolerable, and the undercurrent here is, Dave treated them like crap. I can't abide that, and I hope the door hit Dave's butt on the way out for the last time. Good riddance to boss and business trash.

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 11:55 a.m. CST

    Fuck Blockbuster in their syphillis-encrusted assholes

    by funnyboy

    Blockbuster is a cancer on society. I have watched as no less than a dozen small independent video stores have been forced to close due to their presence. One place specialized in artsy and B films...some of the most twisted shit available. A Blockbuster rep actually visited them and told them "You can either sell us your store, or we'll force you out." After said Blockbuster rep was told to go fuck himself, the store found itself being visited by all sorts of city officials...complaints about fire code violations etc that were unfounded. Finally, they had to sell the place and decided to sell off their inventory. FUCKING BLOCKBUSTER REPS CAME IN AND BOUGHT MOST OF THEIR FUCKING INVENTORY, even though they'd never put ANY of it on their pathetic "family friendly" shelves. Just so another small store wouldn't buy them and give another Blockbuster any competition. Try going into a Blockbuster and asking for a quality flick...they'll only have one or two copies, and they'll always be out. When you ask why they don't have more copies, but they have a wall full of unrented copies of John Q, they'll tell you "People don't WANT to see that movie." Oh, and then there's their policy on widescreen (again, people don't WANT widescreen) or their absolutely fucking ridiculous policy on cutting films up...THEY CUT OUT A PIVOTAL SCENE IN Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN THAT COMPLETELY ALTERS THE REST OF THE FILM! Blockbuster is a plague on humanity that must be DESTROYED. I want the CEO and Board Of Directors of Blockbuster to develop the most painful cancer imaginable and then have their families abandon them so they die in agonizing pain and alone. Fuck them all. Cocksuckers.

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 12:11 p.m. CST

    Demise of Widescreen?

    by Ebersisk

    Even worse than losing personal service and selection, I'm reading more and more stats from Rentals and the Big Box stores (especially WalMart) that a majority of customers PREFER Full Screen over Widescreen. In fact, our local Mom'n Pop Video Rental store has NO version of FOTR in widescreen because they've gotten so many complaints from people who don't like those annoying "black lines" and object to having the picture "scrunched". Whaddyathink? Is this ignorance or do they just not care? After explaining the difference to one of the clerks (who preferred "Full Screen") she said "Well, if I don't see it I don't miss it." Sigh.

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 12:14 p.m. CST

    VHS vs LD vs DVD and online

    by BrickTop

    You can't seriously love films and at the same time lament the advent of DVD, c'mon! Maybe if you lived in a big market you could always get the films you wanted, but if you didn't, getting more "obscure" titles on VHS was a pain in the ass. If you still have them, look in those early Fangoria issues and check the prices some of those titles were going for (average: 60$ for a crappy dub). If you lived in Canada as I do, that meant 80-90$CAN for a single, VHS, no-extra-and-you-never-knew-what-kind-of-image-you'd-get title. Laserdisc was better quality-wise, but not price-wise. I still had the same problem: no local store, everything had to be imported from the States at high costs. If you wanted EVIL DEAD you had to get the Japanese disc (which I'm keeping for sentimental reasons, thank you very much). Only THIS YEAR, more than 10 years after seeing it at the Festival du Film Fantastique de Montreal, was I able to get my hands on a decent copy of ACCION MUTANTE (and I do mean decent... that DVD is far from great but at least you can get it from Amazon). Which brings us to my point (and I do have one): DVD has finally "democracized" films, putting it in the hands of everyone who wants them. I can go to most local stores, even the nickel and dime ones, and get new titles. More obscure ones? I go online. At least they're AVAILABLE! And no one tells you you can't see something: you get a region-free player (or even better: an cheap Apex that you modify yourself and keep as a second player) and you can watch foreign movies and not have to wait until fucking Mira-New-Line-Disney-Max decides to put them in theaters. At 25$ you can take chances on movies you've just heard buzz about (Like I did with BATTLE ROYALE... thanks Scarecrow!). DVD is the best thing to come along for film enthousiasts in... oh I'll say ever. I'm grateful for VHS. It's what started it all. But I'll say it again: c'mon! DVD blows every other existing format way the hell outta the water and for good reason. Never have movies been cheaper, never has selection been greater and never have movies of all genres and origins been more widely available. And never have we been buying them is such quantity. And Mori, to the day this site dies, your articles will always be the most articulated, entertaining and well thought-out of AICN. Here's hoping you never get to busy to contribute (although I wish you all the luck in the world).

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 12:19 p.m. CST

    VHS vs LD vs DVD and online

    by BrickTop

    You can't seriously love films and at the same time lament the advent of DVD, c'mon! Maybe if you lived in a big market you could always get the films you wanted, but if you didn't, getting more "obscure" titles on VHS was a pain in the ass. If you still have them, look in those early Fangoria issues and check the prices some of those titles were going for (average: 60$ for a crappy dub). If you lived in Canada as I do, that meant 80-90$CAN for a single, VHS, no-extra-and-you-never-knew-what-kind-of-image-you'd-get title. Laserdisc was better quality-wise, but not price-wise. I still had the same problem: no local store, everything had to be imported from the States at high costs. If you wanted EVIL DEAD you had to get the Japanese disc (which I'm keeping for sentimental reasons, thank you very much). Only THIS YEAR, more than 10 years after seeing it at the Festival du Film Fantastique de Montreal, was I able to get my hands on a decent copy of ACCION MUTANTE (and I do mean decent... that DVD is far from great but at least you can get it from Amazon). Which brings us to my point (and I do have one): DVD has finally "democracized" films, putting it in the hands of everyone who wants them. I can go to most local stores, even the nickel and dime ones, and get new titles. More obscure ones? I go online. At least they're AVAILABLE! And no one tells you you can't see something: you get a region-free player (or even better: an cheap Apex that you modify yourself and keep as a second player) and you can watch foreign movies and not have to wait until fucking Mira-New-Line-Disney-Max decides to put them in theaters. At 25$ you can take chances on movies you've just heard buzz about (Like I did with BATTLE ROYALE... thanks Scarecrow!). DVD is the best thing to come along for film enthousiasts in... oh I'll say ever. I'm grateful for VHS. It's what started it all. But I'll say it again: c'mon! DVD blows every other existing format way the hell outta the water and for good reason. Never have movies been cheaper, never has selection been greater and never have movies of all genres and origins been more widely available. And never have we been buying them is such quantity. And Mori, to the day this site dies, your articles will always be the most articulated, entertaining and well thought-out of AICN. Here's hoping you never get to busy to contribute (although I wish you all the luck in the world).

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 12:58 p.m. CST

    Um, RecurveTD2?

    by VoicesCarry

    DVD was made for cult films, as well as for restorations of old, hard-to-find flicks. Just sample any disc from Anchor Bay, Elite, Image, or Criterion (to name just a few). So I have no idea what you're talking about, really. I have had a much harder time finding cult films on VHS than on DVD and more often that not, the quality was crap, thanks to public domain access and poor VHS transfer. To each his own, though. Personally, living without a DVD player would suck, plain and simple. Yeah, they are more expensive than most VHS tapes, but damn it if you don't get what you pay for: a quality product.

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 1:30 p.m. CST

    Widescreen Vs. Full - once and for all.

    by KONG33

    C'mon guys, I know it sucks that people sometimes don't get a choice but liking full-screen doesn't mean you're stupid. Now, there are advantages to both. LOTR has a lot of detail people want to see, even though that's one disc I can't imagine viewing w/o widescreen. Look at Spider-Man, it was shot w/ a different ratio, right? So, you aren't losing as much picture, and detail is more clear. I like Widescreen, but I'm getting a little sick of it. All DVDs should give you both wide and full, that's why I like older dual-layered discs like Batman Returns. Most of us don't have widescreen tvs. Stanley Kubrick preferred Full-Screen. To be fair, what about those dumb widescreen guys who proclaim, "Why isn't 'Snow White' in Widescreen? This is a true tragedy and Disney should be ashamed! For a true classic, Snow White must look glorious in widescreen we are truly missing out on a classic. It saddens me to say this is an inferior product. BUYER BEWARE!"

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 1:31 p.m. CST


    by KONG33

    God, I hate that. Especially in a long, dull, waste-of-time topic.

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 1:44 p.m. CST

    Video Store Magazine

    by DonWoo2

    I'm proud to say I work in a mom and pop store here in Beautiful NJ and just as a side note I was wondering if anyone ever read the comic strip that appears in Video Store Magazine [a weekly trade magazine] "Rewinders" I must say whoever is responsible for that atrocity should be shot. I have never even giggled at a single one. Sorry, I just had to get that off my chest.

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 2:20 p.m. CST

    Indie video stores and capitalism

    by GypsyTRobot

    Here in Chi-town we still have a few really cool indepentently owned (as far as I know) video stores, such as Ear Wax in Wicker Park and Specialty Video in Andersonville. Ear Wax has some of its titles sorted by director and has a good selection of cult/Hong Kong/horror/etc.; it's housed in the same building as a neo-beatnik cafe and the whole establishment appeals to the locals (Wicker Park is Chicago's rapidly gentrifying Greenwich Village). Specialty Video has a good combination of new releases cult, sci-fi, horror, classics, but they also have a lot of titles targeting the large gay population in Andersonville. Seems like to be an independent store you have to appeal to a strong component of the local population, find a niche that large chains like Blockbuster can't fill. + On capitalism: do you bright-eyed, naive libertarians really believe that Adam Smith's invisible hand is hard at work here in the U.S. of A.? Big business has political and economic influence, they make sure legislation, tax laws, enforcement go their way and use such tools to stomp the little guys whenever possible. Then there's city inspectors who demand bribes, which the little guy has more difficulty paying . . . the real world is a more complicated and corrupt place than some economics text book, try checking it out sometime.

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 2:22 p.m. CST

    I am also worried my dvds won't play in 2 years

    by KONG33

    I agree with what that guy said, they scratch too easily and won't play. If only they were as durable as CDs are, but they are far, far more delicate. I lost a PowerPuff Girls disc already! But a copy of EWS came back from the dead, so there is hope, it was scratched all to hell, too. I don't think I did anything to the PPuffs. It happens an uncomfortably often amount of time, like they just die out, they should be sturdy! I keep checking those little guys. Any word on technological DVD updates as an aid?

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 3:52 p.m. CST


    by Bryan

    MCKevin Gustafson, your e-mail link is out of date (mine is too - curse you talkback). If you wouldn't mind e-mailing me at I'd really appreciate more detail on your bad experience at Scarecrow, like how recently it was and what someone did that you thought was rude. I truly believe that most of our staff is genuinely friendly and helpful, so when I hear a complaint like yours it is very disappointing and I want to get to the bottom of it so I can stop it from happening again. As for OUT OF THE PAST, if you're talking about the Jacques Tourneur film we do have it for rent on VHS, on a PAL code 2 dvd and on laserdisc. We also have a 1997 film of the same title in the gay section and even an episode of the X-Men cartoon (on both VHS and DVD) which is located in the "comix" section in the anime room. Dude, you know you want it. You should stop by.

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 4:15 p.m. CST

    Demise of Widescreen?!?!

    by exPFCWintergreen

    I don't fucking think so, Ebersisk. Mabye some dumb Americans have trouble uderstanding the that the picture isn't "scrunched", but where I live, I tried buying the FOTR DVD here about a week after it was released and I had to look through Walmart and 2 other stores before I could find a widescreen version. The reason? All they had left was fullscreen, the widescreen version had sold out................................. However, I agree that there is a place for the fullscreen format. Unfortunatley, T.V.s weren't invented to watch movies on. And people that have small televisions aren't going to want to watch a widescreen format movie that only takes up half of their screen - they won't be able to see what the hell is going on. That being said, I think that anyone with a large TV screen is wrong to prefer fullscreen over widescreen. Video retailers really should just have an in-store demo of the difference. It wouldn't be that hard to do.

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 4:26 p.m. CST

    To all you cheap ass fucking morons!

    by jeffmaul

    Go to fucking Blockbuster and buy one of there used up DVD/videos that are either soo bad that they sucker you into buying them or so mass produced that I bet your mammy's got a copy! Dave's was run by people who KNEW movies! Whether it was something as big as Spiderman or as rare as Legend of Boggy Creek, Dave's had them.Where else could you find a special three disc set of Brotherhood of the Walmart? C'mon! and prices? Tower and Virgin fuck you in the ass in terms of buying DVD's so get your facts straight numbnuts!!!!!

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 5:20 p.m. CST

    laserdisc and dvd's

    by bogrod

    It sounds to me that this buisness that Moriarty speaks of, went OUT of buisness, because they didn't want to stock DVD's, plain and simple. If they had a hollywood-friendly store, THAT was their market. I don't think that a place where Hollywood types could browse free of distraction would have disliked the store because they brought in DVD's. My point in saying that is this - did all those Hollywood types start going to the local Blockbuster?? Did they say "the heck with Dave", and go to Blockbuster to get harrased? This comes from a SERIOUS laserdisc lover, and I am in no way putting down laserdisc, and championing DVD at all. I just don't understand HOW DVD's in any way hurt Dave's buisness. People go to the "mom and pop"-type stores because of the fact that it is usually a BETTER place to go to than the stores run by huge corporations.

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 6:04 p.m. CST

    Big Brother: Best Buy

    by sonicboom

    Don't know if you guys knew this but Best Buy owns Future Shop (, Magnolia Hi-Fi (, Media Play (, On Cue (, Sam Goody ( and Suncoast ( So blame Best Buy if any of these stores fuck you over.

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 8:18 p.m. CST

    People are morons

    by Johnny B. Ware

    In response to Ebersisk's comments, I know for a fact that the people are more into full screen then wide screen. I work at Zellers, (sort of the Canadian equivilant to Wal-Mart) and for every copy of a film we get in wide screen we get 3 in full screen. And when we got in the Back to the Future Trilogy DVDs, every copy was full screen. I was bloody outragged. But the thing is nobody cares. They'd rather buy the basterdized version. They complain about the "annoying" black bars. I say you want full screen, stick to VHS. Wankers.

  • Dec. 31, 2002, 11:15 p.m. CST

    The Future

    by WayOutWest

    So we're supposed to feel sorry for some overweight dictator who slunk back to Marin with bags of cash? Sorry, I'll pass. I have to agree with fettastic - leaving emotions aside and 'doing the math' there's still a viable business. Maybe not paying ridiculous rents in LA where the hard core movie fans can go in and sniff around and touch things and celeb watch. But Netflix proved that the virtual store model will work. Having said all this, it really doesn't matter. In the coming years we will be able to download movies to view for a specific period of time (and DVDs will probably still exist for those who wish to purchase). The technology is almost ready and the Howies in Hollywood will eventually figure out a pricing scheme so they can still afford their 911 Cabriolets, coke habits, and $1500/hr hookers. Oh, and happy new year.

  • Jan. 1, 2003, 12:25 a.m. CST


    by gelbert

    Wow this is pretty shocking. If I had any idea this was to happen I would have used the store credit I got from them only 2 months ago when I sold them the better part of my Laser Disc collection. Anyone have any idea how to contact them or if there's anything i can do in this situation? Thanks

  • Jan. 1, 2003, 12:27 a.m. CST

    by Timmeh

    Okay, I'm from Australia so I don't know how it alll goes in America and beyond but won't all these arguments for and against pan + scan against widescreen become void in a few years anyways. I mean with HDTV being introduced by about 2008 everyone will own a widescreen TV anyway. I know in Australia about 30% of all brodcast shows are in widescreen to accomodate the early adopters and that ranges from ER to low budget, independent comedy such as "Kath & Kim". Soo, despitethe arguments now, won't those uninformed individuals be made to regret their dislike of "those annoying black bars" when the eventuallly convert to HDTV and then have to put up with eitherr a severly squashed image or two balck lines on the sides of the screen instad of the top and bottom? Coorrect me if I'm wrong...... Oh and also, here in Oz, the big name stores are actually the best for DVD supplies and the ony time theres troble getting a widescreen version of movies is usually for childrens releases like Harry Potter and Monsters Inc.

  • Jan. 1, 2003, 12:33 a.m. CST

    Future Of Widescreen?

    by Timmeh

    Okay, I'm from Australia so I don't know how it alll goes in America and beyond but won't all these arguments for and against pan + scan against widescreen become void in a few years anyways. I mean with HDTV being introduced by about 2008 everyone will own a widescreen TV anyway. I know in Australia about 30% of all brodcast shows are in widescreen to accomodate the early adopters and that ranges from ER to low budget, independent comedy such as "Kath & Kim". Soo, despitethe arguments now, won't those uninformed individuals be made to regret their dislike of "those annoying black bars" when the eventuallly convert to HDTV and then have to put up with eitherr a severly squashed image or two balck lines on the sides of the screen instad of the top and bottom? Coorrect me if I'm wrong...... Oh and also, here in Oz, the big name stores are actually the best for DVD supplies and the ony time theres troble getting a widescreen version of movies is usually for childrens releases like Harry Potter and Monsters Inc.

  • Jan. 1, 2003, 12:49 a.m. CST

    Widescreen vs. full-screen? Sorry, but I think full-screen's win

    by KingKrypton

    I have to agree with the assessment that the widescreen format might not survive. Finding a widescreen STAR WARS DVD is pretty close to impossible (they only had maybe a few at Best Buy last time I went, and they're normally pretty reliable when it comes to widescreen stuff), and hell will more than likely freeze over before I can get a hold of a widescreen LORD OF THE RINGS: FOTR. Whenever there's DVDs on display at places like Target or even those little racks in the grocery stores (the ones in my area have always had some sort of video section), most of the stuff is full-screen; the widescreen DVDs are either outnumbered or simply not available. I was just over at the Cinema Laser site, and there's some articles there about companies like Disney releasing DVDs in "full-screen only" format and being reluctant to throw their weight behind widescreen. Why is this? The answer is simple: the consumers. Yeah, we movie buffs like seeing movies in their proper aspect ratios, but Joe Q. Public doesn't like widescreen. "I don't like those black bars." "The picture's scrunched." "The picture's too small." "Widescreen doesn't show the full picture, it just chops the top and bottom off the picture." (My sister will LOUDLY exclaim this to you if you try to defend the widescreen format.) If the public is against it, the manufacturers and the stores are going to take notice. For example, I tried defending the widescreen format to my sister by pointing to the widescreen TVs currently on the market (which are still way too pricey, but that's neither here nor there) and how TV shows are now being shot in widescreen, and how old TV shows from the '50s onward will likely be letterboxed once widescreen TVs take hold. Her reaction? "THAT'S SO STUPID! Widescreen sucks! I hope they get rid of it!" Now, I'm not going to pass judgment on her comments, because I suspect a LOT of people agree with her. Personally, I think there's room for both formats. Full-screen DVDs are pretty much a necessary evil given the current TV format, and to be honest, movies shot in the 1:85 aspect ratio don't really lose much when they're converted to full-screen. Movies like CLUE and the 1987 MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE look pretty much the same in 1:85 widescreen as they do in full-screen. But movies shot in 2:35 like LOTR, SUPERMAN, and GREASE (for example, I know I'm leaving a lot of other films out) really lose a lot when they're converted to full-screen. For the sake of fairness, both formats should be equally available. But because the average consumer doesn't like widescreen, we're gonna get screwed. If the public is complaining about DVDs being in widescreen because their TV screens aren't being filled up, what are the odds of widescreen TVs taking off? So yeah, I have to agree that full-screen is most likely the future of DVDs, simply because the public wants it that way. And what the majority wants, the majority gets, and those of us who prefer widescreen are paying for it.

  • Jan. 1, 2003, 1:45 a.m. CST

    my hopes and fears for my own retail experiences

    by 4-LOM/Zuckuss

    My hopes for DVD are simple: continue the sell through titles so we don't wait a full year to buy the damn thing; keep up with widescreen; keep up with extra loaded special editions--give me commentaries, deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes stuff; let companies like Criterion soar into the mainstream. My fears for DVD: none of those things happen. I really don't have a problem with Blockbuster. I haven't rented in like a year, but I don't find them to be all that disgusting. I do hate how I've gotten calls from them saying I haven't returned something I have returned, or that something that is a day late has to be returned immediately so they won't be screwed by their "it's there or free" policy. One time I rent a Red Shoes Diaries disc entitled "Strip Poker" that a friend tells me was really good, but was actually like every other Red Shoes (pure shit), they call when I return it on time and say the name over the machine so my parents hear it. Now I'm 21, but I do like to keep some things private, and I didn't want them asking me stupid questions like why did I rent that. So that's how Blockbuster pisses me off. But my biggest beef with Blockbuster is how they will most likely destroy sell-through DVDs. Why? So they can get their f'n rental revenue, which they whine they're losing immensely. So they don't have to start phasing out VHS because that would destroy their business. Whining like every other corporation. Of course, I work for one of those, too. Yep, I work for good ol' Circuit City. The same company that tried to destory DVD by introducing DIVX. Now I will say this: I started working there in July of 2001. DIVX was already dead, and the company was still recovering financially when taken with the decision to drop appliances. I knew DIVX was a shitty idea from the first time I saw one. I picked it up and said, "Hmm. It's not widescreen and there's no extra features. I thought that was the point of DVD." So I resisted the urge to buy a friend's DIVX player in late '98. I got my player, which still works quite nicely, at WalMart for my 18th birthday in February '99. My first titles: Lethal Weapon 4, The Negotiator, The Mask of Zorro, U.S. Marshals & The Truman Show. Why? There were all new and I didn't have them on VHS. Well OK, I had Zorro. But anyway, I've digressed. I was hired at Circuit City to be a "sales specialist." That entitles working two departments: "Expansion," which includes video games, software, PC peripherals and add-ons, discmans, boomboxes and other small electronics; and "Music," which is CDs, DVDs, and, at the time, VHS. We've since stopped carrying VHS. Take that. I was determined that since I'd be working in music, I would tell everyone exactly what they were missing if they chose fullscreen over widescreen. I'd call my success ratio about 50/50. Some people say, "Wow I never knew." Other people don't care. Or show their ignorance--"I don't like those black bars." Some people get militant. One person was so pissed when they got their new DVD player home that they called the store very angrily and started bitching. Sorry, the salesman didn't tell you that DVDs come widescreen because he's telling you about the player, not the movies. Now he probably should have mentioned that, but it's not number one priority for the commission guys. I brought in a printout from Digital Bits one night to show people the difference. Again, this worked half of the time. I told people that they should buy widescreen for one reason: within 5-10 years, all TVs will be widescreen. Thus, all widescreen DVDs will fit the screen. Well as long as they're anamorphic, but that is the standard now isn't it? And those damn fullscreen DVDs will have (gasp!) gray bars on the sides of the screen! So just buy the fucking widescreen, get used to the black bars which I did (I hated them when I was like 12) and realize you're seeing the picture the way it's supposed to be seen! As if you were in a movie theater! I still get people shrugging me off when I tell them that. In my mind, I'm calling them every curse in Elvish, Entish and all the tongues of Men. That'll show them. So I'll say this to you all: If you live in the Lehigh Valley, PA or Eastern NJ area (Phillipsburg, Somerville, Bridgewater), come to my Circuit City in Phillipsburg, and I'll set you straight. I don't work sales specialist anymore, I'm on commission now, but whenever I ring up a DVD that's in one or the other version (like recent releases Minority Report, XXX, Spiderman, AOTC, Goldmember) I still ask to make sure the person gets the version they want. And if they say fullscreen, I tell them why widescreen is better. And I can also say, in a large bit of shameless promotion, that Circuit City's prices for DVDs are far better than, I'd guess, 90% of other retailers. Example: XXX came out today. We're selling it for $14.99. So if you want that flick, there you go. I can also sympathize with Moriarity immensely. I know the manager who runs Suncoast Video in the Palmer Park Mall closest to my house. I've been on a first name basis with this guy since I was 14. He's a true film guru, just the way Dave seemed to be. He was the first one to show me the differences between widescreen and fullscreen. He's always eager to share his film knowledge. And he totally loves his job. AOTC release date, he's decked out in full Jedi garb giving everyone their advance orders. He lives his work, and he's managed that store since it opened for all I know. I guess it's been about 10-11 years since it's been there. He's such a great guy that he even offered me an assistant managing job back in November when I was picking up my FOTR extended version. Why? He said just because of what he knows about me, how I know film, how I always know what's coming out and how I know about a lot of obscure titles that a lot of other people don't know. The only problem is I'm still a full time student and really couldn't be a manager of any kind. There's also the problem of after working for Circuit City for 18 months, knowing that Suncoast is owned by Best Buy, knowing what Best Buy's upper managament is like, knowing that Best Buy is posting losses while CC is posting gains, and knowing that Best Buy might be looking into shutting down the whole Suncoast chain, I figure it's not a good idea for me. But the point is still that I know this guy is a true film guru, and he loves DVD as much as I do, and he shares my feelings about the continued progress of DVD. I have one more thing to say about online sites: They're great. Most all of them can have anything. I've seen so many softcore flicks on Amazon I was amazed (and yes I ordered a few. I'm 21, so sue me). DeepDiscountDVD is another great site. Anyone know the Sharpe series starring Sean Bean (alas Boromir) and featuring Pete Postelthwaite? Well I've ordered 6 of those for my father for Xmas over the last two years. You know how much they charge? $10 for one. So I love ordering online. I still prefer to buy in stores. I buy stuff online when I can't find it in stores, or when the price is just too damn good to pass up. But working at CC, that's where most of my purchases go. I do still shop at Suncoast occassionally, despite the higher prices. Why? Because even with our expanded DVD section at CC (I work in a nice, brand new store), Suncoast still has more titles. They don't have to put 500 copies of Spiderman and AOTC on the sales floor, so they can't fit more variety on the shelf. Yes, that is how many copies we get at CC. Actually we started with about 800 of Spiderman, 600 of which were widescreen. We got 1200 (1200!)of AOTC, 800 of which were wide. When the theatrical FOTR came out, we had 500 wide and 120 full. Damn, that's a lot of anything. So yes, I love DVD. And the day that there are drastic changes made to it, I will scream forever. I say that we do have to stand up and fight for the preservation of DVD the way it is now. What I mean by that is don't let studios change everything. I consider myself an original DVD consumer. It's been almost 4 years since I bought my player, that was just as the format was taking off. Us hardcore fans need to make sure that we still get our DVDs the way we want them as the format continues to grow. Sure, I want the format to expand to new consumers, but not at the expense of the features that got me hooked and helped this format take off in the first place. There is absolutely no reason that DVD can't go on the way it is now. I don't mind separate fullscreen and widescreen verisons. I do what I can to tell people what they're missing. All of us who know should tell everyone who doesn't know about the difference. Let us come together collectively and end this consumer ignorance which the studios and the Blockbusters help perpetuate. LET DVD LIVE. Sorry about the extreme lenght of this post. I think I wrote more than Moriarity did.

  • Jan. 1, 2003, 1:31 p.m. CST

    If you can't find widescreen dvds...

    by Bryan

    ...why don't you order them? If you're going to places that don't carry these versions, why not start ordering online or find a store that will do special orders? I understand preferring to buy things in an actual store instead of online (I prefer it myself). But why punish yourself with a version of the movie you don't want? I guess I'm lucky to work at a store where we only stock a few full screen versions of a movie that is available widescreen. That's for rent, I don't think we even carry full screen dvds for sale when a widescreen version is available. So I didn't realize this was a problem, but I'm not all that surprised.

  • Jan. 1, 2003, 5:28 p.m. CST


    by asshat

    i love widescreen.

  • Jan. 1, 2003, 8:02 p.m. CST

    Those black bars


    I'm a big movie fan, and I can't stand those black bars either. I find them to be very annoying, but when I buy DVDs, I buy the widescreen, because I figure I'll eventually have a tv that works for it, a long time from now, but still. When I rent, I usually get the full screen or go ahead and get the vhs version. I also try to stay away from Blockbuster for renting, they're just to expensive, I can rent the same movies from a supermarket or 7-11 for 2 or 3 dollars cheaper. But Blockbuster is the best place to buy used DVDs, I can get them there for as little as 6 bucks sometimes. We always try to romanticize mom and pop stores, but the reality is that theyr'e usually more expensive than the chains, maybe that doesn't matter for someone of Mori's income, but it does for me. I finally broke down and got a DVD player last year because of all the extras on them, otherwise, I would have been fine with my VCR, so I hope DVDs stay just the way they are.

  • Jan. 1, 2003, 10:12 p.m. CST

    To all you cheap retards out there....

    by jeffmaul

    If you want a good price go to Blockbuster and pick up one of there used up DVD/video's that are either sooo bad that they don't want it or so mass produced even your mammy's got a copy. Dave's was a place where the people who shopped there knew and loved movies. Whether it was something as big as Spiderman or as small and rare like Legend of Boggy Creek Dave's had them. C'mon would you be able to find a three disc set of Brotherhood of the Wolf at Walmart? And might as well bend over and take it in the ass with Tower and Virgin record stores. Get it straight!

  • Jan. 2, 2003, 1:52 a.m. CST

    fettastic - Your Story

    by WayOutWest

    Your girlfriend is a BSer:

  • Jan. 2, 2003, 4:40 p.m. CST


    by tvc15

    Question for ya. I live in Bay City, Michigan and our video choices are Blockbuster, family Video & hollywood video. the only place that had Y tu mama tambien was blockbuster and it was the unrated version. i had never seen it before, so, what was cut?...or did you only get the rated version? thanks.

  • Jan. 2, 2003, 7:12 p.m. CST

    DVD Prices, retail competition, and Blockbuster

    by Electric Tsunami

    I think that traditional mom & pop brick and mortar video stores are unable to compete on DVD sales because the competition is strong (online and from big chains like Fry's and Best Buy) to sell below retail price (10-40%). Some "mom & pop" stores like Sight & Sound in Waltham, Mass used to offer a 15-20% discount on pre-orders of new releases (LD and later DVD) as well as stock deep inventory. That pre-order discount was pounded by competition from other sellers. The number of titles being released makes it impossible to stock everything. A larger online company can stock a lot and get the rest to a customer in a matter of a week or two. CD prices at indie stores are often higher than Best Buy too. I have no use for Blockbuster (titles stocked, rental prices, poor condition of titles rented... etc.). Blockbuster has the image of being a conservative company but the truth is that they have been owned by Viacom (same people that own See-BS and eMpTyV) for quite a while now. Their family" image is something that they like to project (like Disney distancing themselves from Miramax, Touchstone, etc.) and thus they can sully the image of mom & pop stores as purveyors of pornography. Long ago I saw one of the X-rated Ralph Bakshi cartoons shelved at a Blockbuster(with the rating razor cut off). I was plesantly surprised too when they stocked uncut versions of John Woo's The Killer and Tetsuo The Iron Man when those titles came to US home video. As for me, I rent from an independent music/video store and buy mailorder (except for a few impulse/immediate gratification purchases). As to pre-orders, some mail order companies now ship titles so that they will arrive on or around the street date for those titles. At least DVD doesn't have the built in 2-6month lag on releases that LD had. As to all-region players, the rest of the world doesn't seem to care about region codes (just Hollywood). We may someday see open marketing of region free machines in stores (with higher end names getting in the game). As for now, the drop in "quality" isn't enough for me to bitch (I may be unimpressed by the quality of some transfers but that is on the manufacturing end, not the playback). I grew up tuning in weak broadcasts of Godzilla films on a black and white tv set, seeing 8th generation copies of movies screened at conventions, etc. The import DVDs that I am viewing all surpass the quality of those experiences but faced with not seeing a film and not seeing it under optimal conditions, I'll take watching the film. MY optimal experience is on a good theater screen but if I waited only to see the movies projected from a film print then I'd rarely see anything of merit.

  • Jan. 3, 2003, 3:17 a.m. CST

    Great store

    by Hellboy

    Sometimes the employees were jackasses who cared more about who the hell was in House 3 and when they can clock out to go work on their shit screenplay, but like the man said, they always had what you wanted. We'll miss ya, Dave's!

  • Jan. 4, 2003, 4:53 p.m. CST


    by frank cotton

    this is a site for FILM GEEKS. a pro fullscreen (or for that matter indifferent) attitude is about as appropriate here as it would be at WIDESCREEN REVIEW.

  • Jan. 4, 2003, 5:21 p.m. CST


    by frank cotton

    your DVDs will last a long time, if you don't treat them as if they are indestructible. and if you think they look better than VHS on a TV, you should check one out on a computer monitor (a number of high-end DVD players actually are computers).

  • Jan. 5, 2003, 4:12 a.m. CST

    yeah, I used to work in a movie rental store too . .. it's a tou

    by ol' painless

    Ok, Mo, so I didn't work in a place as cool as yours . . but those days I worked in Picture Search, Dunedin, New Zealand were some of my worst paid and best fun days of work ever. I sat down, watched movies, read about movies, talked about movies . . . and they gave me money to do it! And I feel your pain at the passing of Dave's . . . that place sounded like a goddamn mecca of movies. What's next? Are real movie theatres gonna go soon too? Are we all going to be multiplexed, homogenised, shoehorned, stereotyped, targeted demographic, focus-grouped, short-shrifted, lowest-common-denominatored, Michael-Bay-bludgeoned all up the Yin Yang for the rest of eternity?? Ehhh, probably . .. I just like waving my fist around and railing against the tide sometimes . . hope you folks will permit me that.