Jaimie Cura, from Voices The Newspaper, visited Video World during its final days and reported on the store’s 23 years in business and the crew filming the documentary.
WOODBURY – There is a difference between a movie and a film. “A movie is for entertainment,” said Ed Kaczynski, owner of Video World. “A film is forever.” Mr. Kaczynski has experienced the rise and fall of VHS, the rise and fall of DVDs and the rise of movies delivered straight to one’s television. His store is opening one last time on Wednesday, March 31. On that day, a party will take place from 11 a.m. when the store opens, to whenever everyone leaves, said Mr. Kaczynski. He encourages anyone to stop by: former and current customers and employees and anyone who wants to come over and talk about movies.
Mr. Kaczynski first began working in the video store business in Naugatuck, in 1979. He worked at Mountview Cinemas, renting movies to people out of the concession stand. “That’s when video first started to come about,” he said. “People would come in and say, ‘what is it’?” Video World, located at 10 Sherman Hill Rd., opened in November 1987.
It seems fitting that someone surrounded by movies and films for so long, would then find themselves the subject of a documentary. A former employee, Ben Churchill, is filming Video World, with the store as the star and backdrop of his documentary.
He is a producer and director with Radio Trip Pictures and will be filming footage on the store’s last day. “The last three days will be pretty emotional,” said Mr. Churchill. Mr. Churchill was a Video World customer before he was an employee. An interest in film and radio was ever-present in his life and he said Mr. Kaczynski set him off on his career. “To work at the video store was my perfect job,” he said. “Ed is fantastic. He taught me how to respect my clients and my boss.”
Mr. Churchill said he wanted to do a documentary on the rise and fall of video stores, and when he found out Video World was closing, he decided to document that experience. “I’m going to tell the story of video stores in general, but show the audience what video stores are about, because future generations won’t know what these are,” said Mr. Churchill. “I’m going to show the evolution of how they started, why they started and what the costs were, because it was more expensive than anyone knew. I want to show the secrets of video stores that no one knew about and show the peak and the downfall.”
When filming for the documentary, Mr. Churchill said he noticed two things that are the still the same from when he was an employee: the same people keep on coming to the store and a strong relationship existed between the community members and the employees. “That’s how it’s always been – recommending videos to customers,” said Mr. Churchill. “You have that personal connection with the clerk who recommends the movies. We’re going to lose that personal touch. That’s what the customers said they are going to miss.”
The article as it appeared in the print edition.