How Many Video Stores Do You Think There are Left in Maine?
I remember when my family got our first VCR.
It was Christmas of 1986, and we were opening presents and my grandparents had a gift under the tree that was to all of us inn my house. When my mom opened it, it turned out to be our first VCR. Keep in mind, these things weren't cheap back then. It was literally hundreds of dollars. As opposed to now, where they're all but free.
That very night, we went straight to Dave's Movie Center in Bangor. We all know what that store has turned into since... No shame. Dave's just had to change with the times. But we rented like 5 movies that night and watched them all within 24 hours. It was such a novel concept to watch a movie at home.
As the 90s turned into the 2000s, video stores started disappearing. Then when Netflix took hold, bye-bye to video stores. These days if you want to rent a physical movie, you're likely to end up at a Redbox to get what you're looking for. But Maine does have a few stalwart holdouts where you can still go choose a video to rent. So where are they?
1. Video Habits - Rangeley...
While it's hard to find them anywhere online, they got a great Yelp review. Helpful staff, and cool specials that give you extra days of rentals. Sometimes you want to grab a movie, but things get in the way of watching it at that moment. Having some extra time is always a plus.
2. Dixie Corner Video - Lubec
I can't 100% confirm this store is still open, but Google is suggesting they are. Like Video Habits, they don't have a website or a Facebook page or anything. But, I enjoy visiting Lubec somewhat often. I'll verify next time. But, Lubec is a relatively quiet little town, so a video store may still be just what the doctor ordered.
3. Opera House Video - Belfast
According to News Center Maine, Opera House video is still going strong. They even saw a renaissance of sorts during the early days of the pandemic, when people were just looking for novel things to do. They've switched ownership, but Opera House has been in the rental business since the 90s, and may truly be Maine's last real holdout for physically renting movies/videos. Good for them!
Who knows, there may be some other mom-and-pop spots out there, but I couldn't find any evidence of there being any others in Maine besides these three. Crazy, right? Especially when you think about how prolific movie stores were all through the '80s and '90s, and even the beginning of the 2000s. But these days, these are the only ones holding onto the past, and for that we thank you.