Wednesday, October 26, 2016

It’s the end of the road for Video Journeys


Hayley Nahmias tends to business at Video Journeys

LOS FELIZ — From her second-floor shop on the border of Los Feliz and Silver Lake, Hayley Nahmias of Video Journeys has watched former rivals down on Hyperion Avenue close over the years: Blockbuster. Video Active. Video Hut. Now it’s Nahmias’ turn to hold a going out of business sale. After more than three decades in business, Video Journeys is closing at the end of July.

News of the closure and close out sale generated a long line of customers earlier this week that stretched from the front door, down a stairway and into the parking lot next to the Gelson’s Market, Nahmias told a customer. Nahmias said she believes it’s the last store focused on video and DVD rentals in the Silver Lake area.

Video Journeys once occupied about 5,000-square-feet of space in the same location. But, as rivals like Netflix and now online streaming draw customers away, the shop has shrunk to slightly more than 2,000-square-feet, Nahmias said. “The last couple of years have been hard,” she said.

A 2013 L.A. Times story featured the store as among the last of its kind in Los Angeles:

But the main attraction is that Video Journeys is a social hub. The store has a toy chest for kids to root around in for whistles and play tattoos, and a coloring section to keep them occupied while their parents shop. On Tuesday morning, a steady trickle of customers moved through the neatly arranged store: a retired editor, several screenwriters, a scientist and just plain folks, talking about their kids’ time off from school, films they liked and didn’t and life in general.

“It’s an outing for me,” said Steven Alvarez, 55, of Mount Washington. “We need human interaction.”

Nahmias did not want to discuss the details of  the closure but an approximately 2,000-square-foot, second-floor space is for lease at the shopping center.

The store will hold a party on July 25 to thanks its customers before it closes, Nahmias said. “We had a good run.”

video journeys clearance sale

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  1. Echo Park Gringo.

    I was told by one of the employees at Starbucks in Atwater that the company had leased a space at this location.

  2. “These small, local businesses being run out by huge companies has to STOP!” -says people here who like to complain about shitty discount stores that can’t afford their new lease for some reason.

    all joking aside, I’ll miss video journey’s, it was a really great place to find unique videos. do we know how much longer the store is open selling off their dvds?

  3. Total bummer!

  4. Sorry to see these guys go – they were pretty much the only video store I ever went to. Obviously, the way people get movies has changed over the years, so I’m glad they were able to hang on for as long as they did. Thanks!

  5. Well, at least Videotheque in South Pas is still around. That place RULES. Seriously.

  6. Great customer service. Fantastic selection of films. Video Journeys will be missed.

  7. This sucks. I’ve been going here since the 80’s.

    • Time to get VOD. That’s video-on-demand for all you who are still going to video stores….

      • Everybody has vod retard. We go there personal service and curated selection as many smaller and foreign films are still not on vod. Of course that’s not a problem when all you rent is the latest Jurasic Park.Plus plus love the recommendations and stories.

      • Not only are tons of movies not available on VOD, the quality of Blu Ray is way better than streaming.

        • Many many movies, and special editions, are not available on VOD. Video Journeys fills an important gap. Sad to see them go!

  8. Joellyn Mumcian

    Video Journeys was a staple in our family when my kids were young, and my son who is now in his 30’s worked their for a time after he graduated from high school. Yes, they’ve had a good run, and even though I haven’t been in there in years, it will be sad to not see that sign upstairs when we drive by. I wish Hayley luck in her new endeavors, whatever they may be.

  9. I’m not surprised. I stopped going to them a couple of years ago: they would routinely apply late charges to my credit card even though I would return items on time directly to their clerks..

  10. sorry to see them go out of business. The very knowledgeable staff could and would give recommendations for movies. the personal touch is so wonderful and we are loosing it to doing everything on-line.

  11. Sad and sorry to see Video Journeys go. They brought together a bunch of fine people to staff the store throughout the years, nearly all of whom will be etched in my memory alongside most of the hundreds of films I’ve rented there.

    And yes, hlppresident, VIDEOTHEQUE IN SOUTH PASADENA! A great shop with great people.

  12. It bums me out that were losing these kind of community based businesses with that personal touch left and right. This one really hurts because it embodied the creative, community based business that really make this a great neighborhood. SIGH you will truly be missed.

  13. I lived a few blocks away from 1985 to 2005. Loved the place. Adored the staff more. Before Video Journeys, I never saw my brother much. But, then I put him on my account and he used the place more than I did. In fact, since I could always count on running into him and having a conversation there, our bond and our friendship deepened. I live in Berkeley now. And a neighborhood place called Five Star Video on Solano is facing the same problems at Video Journeys. No one would be surprised if they were also forced to shutter.

  14. I had the funniest conversation there with the brother who worked behind the counter. I returned the French film “29 Palms” to the counter – he noticed the box and asked, “Is this yours? Did you watch this?” I said, yes, I had rented it and just returned it. I wondered if anything was wrong. He said, “How irritating were that couple?” I laughed and said, “Enough to make me stop watching it! I hope they both got murdered!” Guy behind counter (spoilersss…), “Well, he did. He got gang raped by a bunch of Nazi skinheads.” I said,”Well, that’s good.” He laughed.

    Loved that place. The casual conversations held there reminded me of The Onyx.

  15. the customer service at VJ’s was the thing that made this place special, not only the congeniality, but the depth of knowledge and the willingness to get involved in the search and ask questions about related titles. More than just a business it was a labor of love, and Los Feliz/ Silver Lake is not without it’s cinephiles.

    best wishes to the people who made this such an enjoyable part ‘getting’ a movie.

  16. The last night for one of the last remaining video stores… Generations today won’t know what it’s like to make a trip with the family to browse shelves upon shelves of movies, categorized in convenient sections of Drama, Comedy, Action, and Horror; to burst with anticipation that a copy of your favorite new release is still available to rent; to “be kind, rewind” and return on time… But no more rewinding the clock after the last of these landmarks falls. We mourn the end of an era, then thoughtlessly login to Netflix or YouTube for instant gratification of our couch-potato-mind’s passing desires, everything at our fingertips, no occasion made or memory to relish. But hey, at least now we have thousands upon thousands of titles to choose from. That’s better than shelves and aisles of DVDs and VHS tapes, right?

  17. I just discovered Video Journeys is no longer alive. What do I do now ? I need that store to find “The Painted Veil” 1934, Greta Garbo. And “Crime without Passion”, by Ben Hecht, another oldie from 1934. Anybody got a suggestion for such vintage rentals?

  18. Thank you for any help you can offer in finding an alternative vintage video rental outlet in the vicinity of Los Feliz.

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