Striking Back: Corina Hitchcock on International Independent Video Store Day

You’ve undoubtedly heard of the dismal downward spiral the video store industry has taken as of late. The latest and seemingly biggest blow to the video store industry has come with the much-publicized recent closure of video-megalith Blockbuster. With services like Netflix and iTunes providing on demand entertainment, not to mention the er – not so legal methods of obtaining such – who really needs to visit a bricks and mortar store anymore?

Me, and though it may be hard to believe in this day and age, there are others out there like me too. Despite the fact that my entire career is built around the internet and I’m attached to my iPhone like a drowning man to a life preserver, I am still a frequent visitor to my neighbourhood’s indie video store.

Tucked above Toronto’s Rotate This – a popular record shop, Eyesore Cinema could almost be considered more a gallery than your average video rental joint.  Owner Daniel Hanna obviously cares about film – and it shows.  The movies at Eyesore Cinema are carefully curated and are often displayed with handwritten recommendations (or tongue-in-cheek warnings). If Daniel catches you standing wearily in front of the rack with a blank look on your face for too long he’s beside you in a heartbeat, offering opinions, reviews and advice. He’ll order in hard to find gems if you ask, argue ..ahem…debate with you over the merits of a certain movie over another if you should choose and he’s not above good-naturedly chiding you for your unabashed love of a particular tv series or movie. It’s this passion (and a good run of excellent movies and tv shows recommended by Danny and staff) that brings me back to the store time and time again.

It’s also this passion that helped Daniel Hanna bring the first ever International Independent Video Store Day to see light of day.  Inspired by the hugely successful Record Store Day, Independent Video Store Day is as the official website states, “an attempt to consolidate the power of the thousands of independently owned video stores still in operation across the continent and worldwide”.  Instead of rallying against the internet and illegal downloading, they’re calling attention to the indie shops that are left – the ones who truly care about the home movie viewing experience:

“It’s purpose is to promote the idea of supporting your local, independent video stores.Stores owned and staffed by human beings who can be relied upon for reviews and recommendations and who truly love what they do – otherwise, why else would they still be doing it?”

Independent Video Store Day happens this Saturday, October the 15th, with plenty of deals and events in place. As a film lover and supporter of local businesses, I’ll definitely be stopping by my local shop.

For more information on where you can participate, check out:

Offical website:



Leave a Reply