Videotique and Video One, independent video rental shops, will compete in Capitol Hill
In Capitol Hill, proximity is everything. It's why the King Soopers there might have the tiniest, most frustrating jam of a parking lot in the city but remains a top shopping destination. Just down the block, there's a video store called Videotique, a similarly cramped but popular spot for Cap Hill regulars. And come August 17, fellow independent film rental retailer, Video One, will set up shop -- just three blocks away.
Videotique at 1205 East 9th Avenue, and the soon-to-be new Video One location at 600 Downing Street.
When I went down to Videotique last weekend to chat with owner John Donahoe about the competition, the place was bustling. I waited a good fifteen minutes to speak to Donahoe as a fluctuating crowd of regulars checked in and out, chatting about film picks and the Olympics. One gentleman even remarked how nice it must be to own a movie store because of the unlimited number of films one could potentially watch. Donahoe gently nodded in agreement, from behind a counter that resembled cartoon Lucy's "psychiatric help" stand -- which seemed fitting, given Donahoe's longevity here.
Donahoe and his partner opened the low-key spot in 1985, and although Videotique carries many mainstream titles and new releases, it is better known for its harder-to-find cult film selection, and most importantly, as an oasis for queer cinema.
"I try to stay away from labels, but we're the 'gay' store," says the soft-spoken Donahoe, referring to a healthy selection of pornographic movies, yes, but also a proud and extensive list of queer art house films and full DVD collections of all seasons of shows like The L-Word and Queer As Folk.
Video One, by comparison, is known for its sheer volume of titles, especially DVD releases of older films. "In the last three years, I've brought our inventory from 7,000 DVDs to close to 30,000," says Video One owner Jeff Hahn. Hahn was a decade-long employee of the video store before he purchased Video One in 2010 from its previous owner, Dick Bunch. He says he tried to warn Bunch of the inevitable switch to DVD (and eventual extinction) of VHS rental, but didn't see much movement toward the now staple home movie medium. After buying the store a few years ago, Hahn made it his mission to create a massive selection.