Today we’re here to pay our respects to my last local Pic-A-Flick Video. At the risk of showing my age (as if all the Jem and the Holograms nostalgia didn’t do that already), I worked at a few video stores in high school. Those experiences alone could fill up a post here, but we’ll focus on the Pic-A-Flick Video. Pick-A-Flick is (was?) a chain in the southeast that kind of ruled the game where I grew up. In the hey-day of video stores, there were plenty little mom and pop places to choose from the P-A-F was the most common sight. They even gave Blockbuster a run for their money. I can think of no less than 5 locations in a pretty small radius from my house, one of which employed me for a bit. But that’s a post for another day.
Back when I was researching the possibilities of video stores that were still kicking around me, I found out about this one. So a couple of months ago, I gave them a call and found out that they were not long for this world. You know what that means: VIDEO STORE CLOSING SALE!
Let’s go on a trip!
Am I the only one who apprecaites that those two businesses are next to each other?
Right away, I was greeted with the first of several sad signs advertising the store’s demise. I went somewhere around the second week of March, and the place was closing on March 31st. Of course, the prices got cheaper as the month went on.
This sign breaks down the price drops as the month went on. Of course, there is that temptation to hold out and just snatch up a bunch of Blu-rays for pennies at the end of the month, but I didn’t feel like making another trip out to that side of town, and there was the possibility that all the good stuff would be picked through by that point anyway. Already, the general public had the same thought I did: “Raid the video games!“. All of the PS4 and X-Box One games were gone, but there were still some choice PS3 ones left. I don’t have a PS4 (yet), but I do dust off the PS3 from time to time and try to catch up on all the games I’ve missed out on in the past few years. So, I snagged a few. More on that later.
While there, I spoke for quite a while with Jim and Jan, the couple who ran the place. I found out that they were actually the owners of all of the Pic-A-Flicks in this area going back for decades. We swapped stories about the one I worked at briefly in high school. They had an incredible memory and remembered almost all of the former employees from that store (I guess I wasn’t there long enough to hit their radar). They also remembered my 5th grade teacher who worked there for a while when I was a kid. It was always a trip to go by there and see Mr. Brazille out in captivity at his second job. I won’t bring down this post by commenting on the fact that one of my favorite teachers even had to get a second job to make ends meet. I also won’t discuss the exclusive field trip to Charlotte that he and another teacher took me on one Saturday afternoon. True story…but, that, like so many things, is yet another post for another day.
Back to business. As fun as the nostalgia trip was, it was kind of sad to see a few other eager shoppers picking the bones of a dying piece of American pop culture, especially when it’s one that’s so near and dear to my black little heart (and so many of yours). Also, watching the owners sit by and watch as strangers picked apart the last remaining pieces of what is likely the last Pic-A-Flick I’ll ever see, hit me a little bit. There were still two more weeks left in the month, and while I didn’t go back after this one trip, I wonder what it was like for Jim and Jan to sit there day after day, reminiscing as they went down with the ship.
Oh of course I hit up the horror section. The selection was actually pretty impressive, and while I rarely buy DVD’s anymore, I didn’t show up that night just to see the sights. Let’s go shopping!
Here’s my haul. Some of you may notice that there is a bit of a Clive Barker theme going on. Three of the four of the movies shown here are either based on a Clive Barker story or are Barker-adjacent (ahem, Hellraiser: Judgement). Contracted is the one exception, but I’m equally as excited about seeing that one. One of the stars is Caroline Williams, who I’ve met a couple of times at The Mad Monster Party, and she is one of the nicest genre stars around. She’s incredibly cool to her fans and will talk your ear off if you let her. Trust me, that’s not a complaint.
I’ve still not watched any of them, but that’s coming. I did pop in Resident Evil 5 for a bit though. A “bit” was all I needed. The 4th game is one of my favorite games of all time, but this mess was just a giant pile of digital wank. I don’t know who’s idea it was to make the entire damn game an escort mission, but they should be punished by…being forced to play Resident Evil 5. Ugh.
But Deej, what about that new Hellraiser? Oh, THAT SHIT WILL BE REVIEWED, SON. Stay tuned…
Thanks for the memories, Pic-A-Flick. I’m genuinely sorry for all the times I didn’t rewind.