There is something that attracts photographers to an abandoned site, whether it be ghostly theme parks, torn down shacks or derelict video stores, it is clear that the melancholy and nostalgic aura of these neglected spaces lends to poignant photography.
Video stores were once as ubiquitous as Starbucks, and no time was better spent than hunting for the perfect Friday night flick amongst the racks. From VHS to DVDs, the video store gave us freedom to choose what movie we wanted to watch and when, removing the constraints of television and cinema. But with the advent of digital technology, there was no way rental stores could compete, and slowly thousands were shuttered across the country.
From mom and pop shops to national chains, the video store is now something mostly relegated to memory. We will tell our grandkids about this magical place where we could pick out a movie and hold it in our hands.
Below, are some of Web Urbanist‘s picks from the best of Flickr‘s abandoned video stores. The photos are haunting and say so much about how our culture, and interaction with consuming media, has changed.