Part 284: The Impact of Movies
Welcome back to the Week of Rockin’ Movies. Today I wanted to talk about my own movie collection, because pretty much the whole thing rocks. If you missed a previous installment, click below!
RECORD STORE TALES Part 284: The Impact of Movies
Way back, I discussed how the CD store began stocking used DVDs. It was a slam dunk success, once the word got out. When we had built up decent inventory,which took time, DVD sales really took off. At first, our DVD purchases were slow. Not enough people were selling them for us to have a large selection of movies. In order to help maintain our stock, staff members were initially only allowed to buy one DVD per pay period. That was to prevent us from taking all the good stuff (although some figured out ways around this if two must-haves arrived at the same time*). Once inventory exploded, we had boxes and boxes of overstock. We had to add a new center island to the store for the growing movie section. Some days, we’d buy a hundred movies, but only a couple CDs. How things had reversed! We ended up with DVDs in our Bin O’ Bargains. (It was in Joe‘s Bargain Bin that I acquired Incident At Loch Ness.)
This ushered in a whole new set of customers. Now I had customers that weren’t interested in music at all. Many people exclusively bought and sold DVDs. I had some that were only interested in buying TV show seasons, which were expensive back then. Now you can get a whole series for the price of what a season used to cost back then.
My friend and collaborator Aaron hasn’t had cable TV in a dog’s age. Much like myself, he considers most of what’s on TV to be mindless, useless, and brain-rotting. So he ditched his cable.
Meanwhile, I still had my cable, but my growing DVD collection was rendering it obsolete. Once the restrictions were lifted on staff DVD purchases, my collection grew prodigiously. I endeavored to collect complete filmographies from the directors that I liked. I sought all the Kubricks, then everything by Sam Raimi, and Terry Gilliam.
Then one day in 2003, I decided to follow Aaron’s example. If he could do it I could do it too, so I decided that I didn’t need the brain-rotting tube anymore. I was hardly watching it anyway. Rogers don’t like losing customers, the customer service rep asked me, “But what will you watch?” He didn’t get it. I guess not too many people decide they’re not going to watch TV anymore, and this was long before Netflix. Once I declined all his offers for deals and discounts, my cable was disconnected.
I lived happily without cable for five whole years. Only my massive movie and music collection kept me company. I enjoyed saving the money, and I continued to immerse myself in new movies all the time. In fact, in the latter days of the record store, when I was miserable, I was more into movies than music. Music didn’t bring me the joy it once had, it was a dark time for me. That was when movies had their greatest impact on me.
Then I got a new job. Then I got married. To a Maple Leafs fan.
One of the pre-conditions of marriage was that we were getting cable again. Another pre-condition was that Mrs. LeBrain was to get the TV any time there was a hockey game on. During hockey season, that’s three nights a week. I didn’t realize that when the Leafs were (inevitably) knocked out of a playoff position, that Mrs. LeBrain was still going to watch hockey games right to the Stanley Cup. I didn’t get that. My movie watching time went down, and down, and down. Eventually, I just gave up custody of the remote control. I sat by as hockey and then reality TV sadly took over my screen.
I still have my movie collection, pared down a bit, to the 4 or 5 hundred that I love most. I just wish I had more time to watch them! Unfortunately, the Leafs are playing the Florida Panthers tonight. Maybe I can schedule some movie time during the playoffs, since Toronto was eliminated last night.
* to be discussed in a future Record Store Tale…the story of Ivan.