Say what you will about the predictable demise of video stores, but Le Video is a class of its own. The Inner Sunset treasure trove of independent, foreign, rare, and just crazy niche-specific movies is an institution to film buffs in this city, and no amount of instant Netflix gratification can change that. But as SFist and KQED both reported, the two-story DVD rental spot is hitting hard times financially, with talk of closure coming out on its Facebook page this week: "Unless of a miracle, it looks like we'll be closing (rentals) by the end of April..." KQED reported, "Though the owner, Catherine Tchen, also owns the building, Taylor says she can no longer afford to keep the business afloat instead of renting out the 4,000-square-foot ground floor that the store occupies."
With so much public support pouring out for Le Video after this news broke, it seems like the Indiegogo campaign the staff told us they're planning for early next week could get hefty donations right off the bat. I for one would happily contribute (most recently, Le Video helped me watch the original SF classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers when I had a craving to watch the movie that night. It's great for those kinds of cravings.)
The rapid response has helped brighten the staff's spirits and added hope that Le Video could stick around. Store manager Mark Bowen wrote on Facebook this afternoon that "The outpouring of love and concern for Le Video's future in the last 48 hours has been incredible. I assure you that we are are working our collective asses off in an attempt to avoid closing our doors. In an attempt to try to save one of the greatest publicly accessible film rental libraries in the country from disappearing, we are ready to explore any and every possible avenue. Several plans are already in motion on our end, and we are absolutely open to ANY AND ALL OF YOUR IDEAS AND SUGGESTIONS (email me directly at email@example.com)."
More news on the campaign soon.