May 082012

My latest article is up on, about the limited choices for video in Vancouver.

I’m old enough to live through the video revolution. I remember going to see a video store for the first time, in what must have been the early 80s (there was still BetaMax) and being astonished that there were that many movies in existence.

I’ve also lived only a 10-minute walk from where Videomatica used to be in Kitsilano. Now I feel vaguely guilty about not patronizing Videomatica more, as if renting a DVD once a week could make a difference against Vancouver’s rising property rents. Another factor was the lack of instant gratification. If you’re used to seeing a web page or a YouTube click instantaneously, hauling your ass out of the house to physically carry a hunk of storage media from a store to your house and then take it back felt like a drag.

Researching this story brought me back into browsing video store shelves, which I found I missed. Or rather, it’s something I missed when I was actually experiencing it, not something that I missed when I wasn’t. We need a name for that particular kind of not-quite nostalgia.

The social networking of the Internet can sort-of replace that browsing experience, and I suspect sooner or later somebody will figure out the licensing problems and we’ll have access to a large library of streaming titles for a reasonable price. Until then, we’re in an awkward transition.

“A video store where there used to be real, live actors….”

 Posted by at 12:20

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>