Saturday, November 16, 2013

Olde tyme video stores of GR

Renting movies from video stores has been a favorite activity for a good part of my life. The recent news that the last of Blockbuster's stores will close seemed to make official the ending of the video store era.

Of course I enjoy Netflix. I watch a ton of stuff online for sure but there's something about browsing the aisles of a video store that will always seem so right.

I used to frequent the Blockbuster on Leonard, attached to the side of Ralph's grocery. The layout was different from most of them, kinda maze-like. It seemed particularly old-school to me. The building has been abandoned for a few years now. I think Ralph's is using it for storage.

...Allow me a moment to brag that when Eastown Blockbuster closed down, I snagged their copy of Revenge Of The Nerds 1 and 2 for $5! So that's a win I guess-- but I will kind of miss that place and really I'll miss a ton of different places that used to be around Grand Rapids that are no more. It's maybe a little ironic that quite a few of the smaller chains were most likely driven out of business by Blockbuster.

Some friends and I were trying to brainstorm a list of local video stores we could remember:

-Video Palace
-Video Tyme
-Video Master
-Eye On Video
-Hollywood Video
-Crazy Larry's and Believe In Music both rented video
-Meijer and Rite Aid used to have a rental section
-Magnum Opus
-My Video Shoppe
-Hypnotic Eye
-And of course Blockbuster

...I am sure the list is missing some! 

As of 2013 the only video rental that I know of still around Grand Rapids is Family Video....

On this particular night, the Spice Girls movie "Spice World" was showing on all the monitors inside, which enjoyably  heightened the time-warp vibe I now feel when I go here.

So is Family Video the last video store open in Grand Rapids?  Are there some others we didn't think of?


  1. I thought there was a place in Rockford on 10 Mile road in what now has the MVP Sports but used to be the D&W building called "Video Dome"

    1. There was also "Movie Gallery" in Sparta, not sure if it is still there though, it was new 10 years ago.

    2. They're all gone now. I should know there was one in Hudsonville.

    3. They're all gone now. I should know there was one in Hudsonville.

  2. Video Watch @ 28th & Breton

  3. Did you guys have a West Coast Video out here? They were a chain but I don't know if they made it into the GR area.

  4. I remember blockbuster would charge 80 or 90 dollars for a single missing video. Which was like charging a couple hundred for a missing dvd today. It was quite the racket at the time. My friend worked there and would always clear out any late fees I had.

  5. I would find so many gems by browsing the aisle and then when my parents weren't looking I'd sneak into the adult section at family video lol