Thursday, 19 October 2017

Film Culture

I don't mean to post this as I love video stores, and I love Bay Street Video and Queen Video all the same. However, the culture of these two stores are very different.

I knew and have been to Bay Street Video from years back. I love the huge selection of videos they have available, both the ones to rent and to buy. It's housed in the back of a first floor of an office building, with a Tim Horton's and some sort of clinic in front of it. I hadn't been there since I was in my early 20's. This time when I walked in, it was really quiet. Besides myself, all the patrons and service staff were older white men. I felt that the culture was very unwelcoming to me. I felt that I wanted to ask about recommendations, to share my knowledge about film buffery, but that I couldn't because I wouldn't be taken seriously. Because of this, I felt like I was in my late teen's and early 20's again, wanting to be taken seriously. I looked at the amazing selection but then left without getting anything or talking to anyone.

Contrast this to Queen Video. They used to have a place on Queen Street, but now they're on Bloor Street. They have a street-facing storefront (I know, more expensive rent but hopefully worth it for them). Lots of selection (put in a not-as-browser-friendly way as Bay Street Video). Their staff are at the back but it's actually the patrons that make the difference - they are of varying genders, races and ages, and the staff too. I feel like I could approach someone and wouldn't be rebuffed as a film buff. In fact, the first time I went in there I did ask staff a question and got something.

I know the culture of film is one that at times can be very snotty, and the more knowledgeable yet snottier you are the better, but for a video store, in a world where video stores are quickly going out of business, is snottiness really the value you want to be promoting?

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