03/27/2012 05:05 pm ET Updated May 27, 2012

Ode to Jumbo Video: A Two Minute Story

We are all busy humans living out our daily lives and it is hard to sit down and actually read a full-length book. With that in mind, here is a quick story that you can enjoy and will take you less than 2 minutes to read. Let's begin!


I exited my parents Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme gripping my gift certificate to Jumbo Video tightly. I won it the night before at a St. Catharine's Falcons hockey game. It was the first time I won anything and I was excited!

My family and I entered the giant Jumbo Video store. I loved this place! They always had fresh popcorn for FREE as soon as you walk in. This place was massive and took the majority of space in a strip mall. I browsed the aisles of video games, everything from NES to the Sega Genesis were available for purchase, but sadly my $15 gift certificate couldn't afford me hours of gaming glory.

My mom suggested I go to the previously viewed VHS section. There were tons of movies that were 15 bucks each! I browsed the plethora of flicks until I saw the one I wanted: Home Alone 2. I grabbed it, my mom approved, I bought it, and I loved it!

Jump 20 years, I enter the store for the first time in almost 10, only to find out Jumbo Video is closing.

I exited my dad's Ford Focus late on a Tuesday night and walked through the glass doors, greeted by their logo of a giant smiling elephant. The store wasn't as big as I remember, but then again I wasn't as small as I remember. The place had changed. It still had the Jumbo Video awesomeness that was the free popcorn, but it didn't feel like the Jumbo Video of my childhood.

We continued to wander around the store looking for a movie to rent. I would randomly pick up videos of Godzilla versus Whatever and show them to my dad to get him to laugh, which he always did.

We finally wandered to the toys section which had a plethora of movie and TV show toys that you don't normally see in other stores. We stopped at this one toy, a 12" figure of The Dark Knight's Joker. My dad LOVES The Dark Knight. He has seen that movie almost 100 times since its release, so to say he WANTED that Joker was an understatement.

I immediately grabbed it, bought it and gave it to him and said, "Happy 54th Birthday, Dad."

He smiled.

We exited the store and as I looked back through the glass window, I knew I would never see this place again. Part of my childhood closed that day.


Author's Note:

With the demise of the behemoth that was Blockbuster, it seems the video stores of our youth are just about dead. Don't think I'm against this revolution towards the iTunes Store renting or streaming movies and TV shows at home model; far from it. I embrace the ability to sit down on my couch at home, turn on the TV and instantly stream items from iTunes or Netflix.

However, what I do miss is definitely the nostalgia of being a kid walking into my local video store and picking up a VHS movie and hoping that my parents would let me rent it. Plus, the free popcorn was kind of sweet too.

There is one thing I won't miss however, walking in the rain at 10 years old having to return those movies. Thanks Mom and Dad ;)

What do you think of the story? Also, what was your local Video Store growing up? Do you miss it? What made it special? Let me know!