In a piece titled My Store Just Died, Jeffrey Miller writes at Zócalo Public Square about being manager of "the last great independent video rental store in the city of Los Angeles." Rocket Video closed its doors on Oct. 7.
During our final weeks, long-time customers were coming in distraught, some of them even in tears. Many seemed to be searching for some exotic answer for why we were closing, but the reasons for Rocket’s demise were what you’d expect: new technologies, Netflix, a bad economy, and fewer customers. The owners of Rocket Video felt they were investing a lot and getting very little return....
Even when I had full-time jobs, though, I never stopped working part-time at Rocket. It was a cool place to be, and there was always something going on. People told me they were impressed with my knowledge of film, and some customers would come in just to ask me questions.
You never knew who was going to drop in. Charlize Theron, Vince Vaughn, Wim Wenders, Morissey, Will Ferrell, Angelina Jolie, Billy Bob Thornton, Marilyn Manson, Drew Barrymore, Leonard Cohen, Sylvester Stallone, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Buck Henry, Peter Bogdanovich, Madonna, Janet Jackson, and even the late Michael Jackson—all walked through the doors of Rocket Video.
My favorite was Faye Dunaway. Certainly, she could be a little demanding.