The last 7 years have not been kind to Ray’s Corner Video. With the popularity of Netflix, Redbox, and recreational blindness on the rise, a store specializing in VHS, Beta Max, and LazerDisc has a lot of much healthier competition. And despite hundreds of abandoned Blockbuster storefronts are now filled with millions of hermit crabs, store owner Jarek Oleksandr maintains a sickeningly positive outlook.
“When I first came to this country illegally, I took this job from a disabled veteran thinking it would just get me by until I could become a real estate mogul,” Oleksandr said. “And if there is one thing I have learned in my time here, it is that Americans love outdated technology because it lets them forget about how much they’ve screwed up their country.”
Jarek has put all his chips on the inevitable return of VHS, and it isn’t something he takes lightly. Originally from Krakow, Poland, he has sunk his entire life savings into VHS tapes.
“If you want to experience a movie the way the director intended, VHS is the way to go,” asserts Brock Brocklow, a regular patron of Ray’s Corner Video who wears scarves and fedoras and has an enthusiasm for ironic facial hair and eyewear. “VHS in terms of picture and sound, is more faithful to the original film than digital. You see, digital conversion compresses the signal, causing…” and that’s where I stopped listening.
Whether VHS will make a glorious return to public favor or remain an obsolete artifact of years past, only time will tell. So before you decide to chuck your old collection of Sweatin’ to the Oldies, remember that you could be sitting on a gold mine.