I think it is a desire hidden within most consumers, especially those of us that are some sort of collector, to have a place to call their own. A place like the bar in the classic television series ‘Cheers’.
For me, my vice has always been movies over alcohol, and when I actually worked at a movie rental place (still one of the best times in my life), I tried to make it the ‘Cheers’ experience for my customers. I got to know the regulars names, became friendly with them, got to know their taste in movies, always had suggestions ready on those weeks when there really wasn’t anything good in the new releases. Over the course of a number of years, I worked at two independent video stores here in Oshawa. Video Wiz on Simcoe St and Rahim’s Video on Taunton. The years especially at Video Wiz hold a dear place in my heart. I loved the staff I worked with, had a fantastic boss who also had a great family that treated me as one of their own, and a customer base I truly enjoyed serving. One of my regulars was my former math teacher from high school. One was the manager of the local pizza place, Mothers (I still miss Mothers). I have had many former customers run into me over the years and tell me they still remember the service I provided, and that is a heartwarming validation for me. A few years after I left the business, I actually ran into one of my best customers in a movie theatre and he asked me what happened to me. I told him I moved on and he informed me that he stopped renting movies because he had no idea what to pick without my assistance. I love that guy.
So nowadays, it is rare to find a place like that. You can bank at the same bank for 20 years and they still don’t know who you are. And no matter how many times you go to Wal-Mart, chances are they won’t remember you. So it truly gets the inner reels of my heart spinning when I go into my own Cheers. My Cheers is a little Blu-ray shop in Ajax, Ontario called Blu-ray Stop on Harwood Ave. I started going there regularly maybe a year or so ago, and I have come to know the owners, who are great movie nuts themselves. And yes, when I walk through the door, much like the beloved Norm on Cheers, they greet me by name. I trade movies, I buy movies, we talk movies. It’s probably lucky for them that they are not closer to my house, because I would probably be there a lot more than I am now and they would tire of me quickly. Likewise if they had a Coke machine and a chair. But I do love it there, I feel comfortable and welcome there, and I feel like it is “my” place. I want everyone who buys movies to go there, the prices are out of this world, the selection amazing, and like I said, the service is genuine, friendly, and welcoming. So in addition to bolstering my collection to ridiculous numbers, it also gives me something to look forward to and a place where ‘everybody knows my name’. So thanks Blu-ray Stop, for not only running a great business, but doing it in a way that seems to be a lost art. Cheers.
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Check out their amazing selection and buy online at:
Blu-ray Stop is located at:
33A Harwood Avenue South