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A Video Legend in the East Village

Today marks the anniversary of the opening of the first Blockbuster store in the country in 1985, in Dallas, Texas.  Filled with childhood nostalgia, we couldn’t help but recall the days when a trip into the local video store to pick out a VHS tape was one of the more exciting moments of any given weekend.   Now we are all used to resources like NetFlix, which come with instant gratification right from the comfort of our couches.   This ease in movie viewing has left many neighborhood video rental stores with no choice but to close their doors.  One such loss hit the East Village especially hard.

an interior shot of the former Kim’s on St. Mark’s Place

article wrote that “Over the years, Mr. Kim, now in his late 40’s, built a staff that traveled the world scouring for additional titles — the only way to find obscure films in the pre-Internet age. By 2008, the collection had swelled to 55,000 eclectic works, many impossible to find anywhere else.” Kim’s also had another location on West 1oth and Bleecker Streets.

Kim’s Video on St. Mark’s Place. Photo on the right shows the store just before closing

Mr. Kim’s offer (image courtesy of Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York)

took a trip to Selemi, Italy and learned that the movies are doing nothing more than sitting in boxes in a room unknown to  most of the city’s inhabitants.

L: Mayor Vittorio Sgarbi [of Salemi] and Yongman Kim had expansive (if strange) plans.; R: Kim’s Video collection in Salemi. (images courtesy of the Village Voice)

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One response to “A Video Legend in the East Village

  1. If we’re talking history, we used to go to Kim’s when it was on the NW corner of St. Marks and 2nd Avenue (on the 2nd Floor) in what I believe was its original location (maybe 1989 or 90). You never knew what crazy thing you might find there, it was great.

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