Since being bought by New York film critic Aaron Hillis and his wife, Jennifer Loeber, Video Free Brooklyn, a small DVD rental store in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill, has been featured in publications from the New York Observer to the Wall Street Journal.
Everyone seem to be intrigued as to why anyone would buy a business purveying a near-obsolete media format. They might be surprised to hear that Video Free Brooklyn, which has been around since 2002, is actually a profitable business (the previous owner was simply moving on). And in what Hillis calls a “post-Netflix” digitalized world, the advantages of the neighborhood video store are becoming all the more appreciated.
At Video Free Brooklyn, new releases are available immediately; there is an extensive, well-curated indie and foreign film section; and the staff are film enthusiasts, well-qualified to advise and recommend. Cobble Hill locals can look forward to fun events like talks and screenings that will appeal to everyone from film buffs to kids, and we even heard a rumor of free video return PICK-UP service!
This transformation won’t occur without a lot of hard work and elbow grease, however, which is why Aaron has started an IndieGoGo crowd-funding campaign. Contributions will go towards things like building moveable shelves that can be shifted around to turn the store into an event space.
In response to lifestyles that are becoming ever more on-demand and convenience-oriented, a greater appreciation of old traditions and past-times has emerged, hence the returning popularity of crafts, artisan foods, vinyl, Instagram and the like. Video Night and the ancient ritual of movie-browsing are definitely another to keep. Become a supporter of Video Free Brooklyn on IndieGoGo here.