I was appalled to find the news broken to me last week driving North on La Brea last week but, as many of you know, the Los Angeles video institution, the alleged greatest DVD library in Southern California, and well known LA Brea staple Rocket Video is closing it’s doors this Friday, September 30. A bright green sign covers the glass facade of the store, bluntly stating “STORE CLOSING ALL ITEMS NOW FOR SALE.”
News broke earlier this month on their blog and Facebook, as the company mourned their last event and bluntly stated the news. Their more recent updates have not detailed much of the why, but their posting articles about Netflix seem to point as to a why things are changing. I stopped by the store this past weekend, where they seemed to be having a celebration of the death of the store (as you can tell by the picture below, a sign on the right side of the door tells guests to enter in the back) and were still pushing the sale of their inventory. It was a sad sight, indeed.
Rocket Video is a Los Angeles institution and we’re sad to see they’re closing their doors. It’s somewhat upsetting that no movie star stepped in to donate money but, then again, a video rental store is a dying art that would be a lot to take on. I once worked for a production company that found me at the store every week, pulling videos for sales tapes, which provided me with a proud owner of a lifetime membership at the store. Sadly, that lifetime ended early.
Perhaps the store met its demise after leaving their flashier North La Brea location (which is now dog store Zoom Room), opting for a modern, glass storefront that was once a furniture retail store or, perhaps, it was from many not paying their late fees despite collection agencies attempting to reach out to them (I’m guilty of it, sadly). As the Examiner reports, it’s as we expected: “We just didn’t do enough business,” store manager Jeff Miller told the site.
RIP Rocket Video. We’ll miss you and we’ll cherish you in the Criterion version of Videodrome that we purchased in honor of you.