Month: April 2019

The Battle For New York City’s Video Store Culture

After thirty-three years, Videorama is closing. The store, standing at the corner of Dahill Road and 18th Avenue in Borough Park, was the first in its neighborhood. It’s possibly the last place in blue-collar Brooklyn to survive almost entirely on DVD rentals and sales. Though it’s outlived several competitors, it cannot battle the lure of streaming, torrents, and an overall dwindling demand for physical media. Tommy Pittas, a Brooklyn native who took over the business following his father’s retirement, considers the store’s resilience “a labor of love.” Kept afloat by transfers of video or film to disc, he spent the last year debating whether to keep the store running much longer, finally vowing to close the doors in early March (the 7th, to be exact). “It’s not only a financial decision,” Pittas reasons, “but an emotional one.”

The losing battle of video rental and retail is hardly news. Plenty of …