Monday, May 11, 2009

Ode to Cinema 1

Five blocks from my home, was my favorite video store. It was on Quentin Road and East 34th street. I pass by it now and look in at what was. Memories come flooding back to me as I look into an office building with a metal gate down. It is now a tan office with two leather chairs, a desk, and a cheap ninety nine cents store portrait of flowers. My best friend Joey Smith and I used to spend our summers there. We would arrive when the store opened and take a good hour to pick our B-movies for the day out. Creating our own personal Mystery Science Theatre 3000. The wall was painted with a thousand possibilities. However, our interests were strictly in the video boxes so dusty that no one had rented them since the eighties. Movies from companies that don't exist anymore such as Media Home Entertainment, Paragon, Vestron and Lightning Home Video. Movies with titles like Flesh Gordon, Slumber Party Massacre, If You Don't Stop Soon I'll Go Blind, and the adult fairy tale classic, Alice in Wonderland. (What can you say about a movie where Humpty Dumpty can't get it up anymore?) Sometimes we would even find a movie where some punks would hassle a Chinese waiter, and at the next table would be Chuck Norris. He would try to reason with the punks first, but when that failed he would deliver a kick to their skulls. Where was Chuck Norris when my video store was closing? Why couldn't this be like one of those pointless summer camp films where Joey and I keep the place from being bought by greedy land developers. (Special Appearance by Corey Feldman.)

The video store reeked of smoke from the older lady with thick red glasses behind the glass counter. When I was thirteen she always made sure Joey and I never rented dirty movies. The dirtier movies often had a sticker on the top that read "18". Man, I couldn't wait for the day I was old enough to rent Fritz the Cat, in it's beat down Warner Brothers box. Sunday and Mondays she always had off and that is when it was time to rent the fun stuff. Of course when we rented them on Tuesday, we often would get yelled at by her. The store may have never been much but it is a place that is gone. Much like childhood. The world keeps on changing before we have time to realize how long ago the past really is.

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