Employees at the 13-year-old store were recently told the store is closing and will be gone in a matter of weeks or months, SF Weekly has learned. While Reel looks for all the world like an esoteric, independent store of the sort Bay Area customers love to patronize — and feel good about patronizing — it was actually bought by Hollywood Video in 1998. “They let us do whatever we wanted. We were kind of forgotten about,” said longtime clerk Andrew Purcell.
Hollywood Video filed for bankruptcy protection in February and all of its stores — including 16 in Northern California — are apparently going under.
The independently owned Videots on College rented out its last DVD in February, citing the poor economy and changing consumer habits.
Berkeleyans who favor renting movies from a local bricks-and-mortar operation can still patronize Blockbuster on Shattuck, Video Maniacs on University or Front Row Video on Solano — and Five Star Video, also on University (hat-tip: EBGuy) — while they’re still with us.