Long Beach

The last video rental store on Long Beach — and it’s still open! • Hi-lo – Long Beach, California

Long Beach, California 2021-05-07 13:01:24 –

Today, the first Friday of April is the first night of a new extension of the shop, with owner Steve Tsepelis and store manager Phil Deubel ready to support customers behind the counter.

A few young couples came to rent for the first time tonight, but a few older customers came and waved to Steve and Phil to spend some time exploring the shelves. Jonathan Montgomery has been renting here for three years. He said he first noticed the Broadway video while biking through the town and decided to stop by one day.

“First of all, it’s great to get a recommendation and talk to someone directly about the movie,” he said. “It’s also good to remember that a movie can be a physical thing that you can touch and explore, as if you were walking around the library and feeling all the books. Complete all the movies you rented. I’ve noticed that streaming can take a lot of time because you can’t skip to start multiple movies and get them done to the end. “

His recent rentals include “City of God,” “The White Ribbon,” “Goldeneye,” and “Kiki’s Delivery Service.” Jonathan said he rented “Witch’s Takkyubin” when Broadway Video was on sale for Studio Ghibli rentals, and “Golden Eye” was a fun rewatch.

“I saw it about a billion times.”

Broadway Video is Long Beach’s last video rental store of its kind and one of the few left in the United States. Walking inside is like returning to Friday night, circa 1998, when Broadway Video opened at its current location.Read the sign on the shelf comedy, Drama, Horror, Foreigner, LGBTQ, animation,and New release.. There is also a movie section, a small vinyl collection, and posters that include beautiful girls such as “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” “Reefer Madness,” and “Breakfast Club.”

This is the first time Genesis Barandran and her boyfriend have checked the store tonight. She said she had just watched the Netflix documentary “The Last Blockbuster,” which was a hot topic for millennials at video rental stores.

“I was surprised to find a video store near Long Beach,” she said. “I think we both felt nostalgic about renting a physical movie. I don’t think we rented a physical movie in about 10 years.”

Tonight’s Balandran movie options were “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” and “The Darjeeling Limited.”

“Renting a movie directly is still a great experience. It’s like going to a record store and finding your favorite album. You can pull it out and physically hold it. It feels different from streaming. is.”

Broadway Video offers a 3-day rental, but some streaming services offer a 24-hour window for watching movies. You can get recommendations from movie lovers based on your taste of the movie instead of the algorithm. You don’t have to worry about internet connection or film buffering, you can support your local business.

The growing popularity of streaming on Broadway has slowed business in recent years. When the pandemic broke out, Cepellis closed the store for three months because it wasn’t considered an integral business, and when it finally reopened, it saved time because the business was slow.

“Sometimes Phil and I were here for hours and no one came in,” he said.

Another couple moves up and down the row, examining the vinyl collection of posters and cash registers. They rent a movie and buy a poster for “Futurama”.

Store manager Phil Deubel has been working for Broadway Video for 7 years. Not only is he always discussing movies, he is also keen on recommending movies based on customer preferences. His enthusiasm is constant.

“My favorite thing about working here is being around the movie with customers all day long,” said Deubel, who is so loved that the store has a “Phil’s Pics” section. He is from Germany and loves to quote Ace Ventura movies, but “I only know German quotes. They didn’t translate” OK! “. So it always confused me as a kid. “

The original name of the shop was Broadway Video Act II because it was the second place. The original opened in 1985, about a mile below Cherry Avenue. Broadway Video has been at the intersection of Broadway and Redondo since 1998, after a second location opened in 1996 and changed two years later.

The original store closed in 2007, but this place is hanging. Tsepelis managed the Broadway Video Act II for 21 years before purchasing in 2017 and officially renamed it Broadway Video.

“This store has survived competition, format changes, depression, and now a pandemic,” he said. “Friday and Saturday were our big days. We hope that all three checkout terminals will be up and running and we’ll be back.”

Originally from Pennsylvania, Cepellis became acquainted with the original owner when he opened a record shop in the area at the same time. After deciding to close the record store, he became the manager of Broadway Video. It was a job.

“For a million years, I didn’t expect to own this place.”

He said his routine was the manager of the last blockbuster remaining in the United States (Bend, Oregon), much like Sandy Harding, the subject of “The Last Blockbuster.” Thanks to the documentary, hundreds of people flock to Bend and Steve wants the same.

“Scene where she buys candies and so on, I do. I know the routine,” he said. “I bought candies from Smart & Final on the street, opened a store in the morning and have the same inventory system, but I haven’t knitted beanie …”

People are slowly returning, including new customers between the ages of 25 and 40. Not long ago, a customer in his mid-twenties came to the store looking for the movie “single.” Phil looked it up on his computer and told the woman that the movie should be available, but for some reason it wasn’t on the shelf. She walked to the “New Release” section and rented a “promising young woman” instead.

But Phil continued to watch, eventually finding the movie and calling the woman. “We found the movie,” he told her. “Would you like to come back and get it? This rental is for us.”

She was a little hesitant because she parked in the area on Friday night. “Don’t worry. Let us know when you are here. We will deliver the movie.”

And that’s a Broadway video. Tonight, customers rented “Annie Hall,” “Parasite,” “Wonder Woman 84,” “The Last Exorcism,” “Prozac Nation,” “Promising Young Woman,” and “Born in East LA.” Fold the carbon paper receipt in half and place it in each DVD case.

Cepellis Drama On the movie shelves, working in a record store and working in Broadway Video have something in common: “Make people happy. People say this album changed my life or I loved this movie. I can introduce them to something new. “

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