Save the Mondo Kim’s Rental Section?

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10/23/2008 12:00 PM |

In between my arrival in New York and my graduation from College, Kim’s Video shuttered its (original) Avenue A location and Bleecker satellite, but there was always Mondo Kim’s, or, as I preferred to call it, The Place Where I Go to Rent a Movie for Work and End Up Just Browsing Around for an Hour Mentally Tabulating a List of all the Movies I Will See Someday, and Later End Up Skipping a Chance to See Theatrically Because Hell They Have It at Kim’s.

Now, the rental section is closing, for all the usual reasons — it’s too hard to maintain, it’s not profitable enough, if I’m not mistaken the building housing the store was recently sold. Unless, as flyers plastered up over the store (and pictured here, via here) ask, someone wants to generously adopt all the movies and allow access to them. (Anthology? Light Industry? Migrating Forms?)

Stuff is increasingly available for people who have the money to order European DVD-Rs off the internet or whatever, but as much as the future of cinephilia is on the internet… well, most of us will really miss the opportunity to borrow old Anthony Mann VHS tapes with the Turner Classic Movies logo periodically popping up in the corner of the screen. A couple of years ago, when the music department was raided for selling bootleg CDs — I didn’t have to pay late fees on a couple of foreign-region Shaw Brothers discs because the store’s computer system was in police custody — Reverse Shot’s Nick Pinkerton paid better tribute than I could to what Kim’s means for cinephilia. And now it goes the way of the Village Voice, really, most of Alphabet City — I should probably start figuring out what are the new cultural institutions future generations of transplanted New Yorkers will mourn because of how much people like me talked about them…