Photo: Google Street View
Image 1 50
One of the few remaining video rental stores in the Bay Area will shutter on Sunday.
Family-owned Silver Screen Video in Petaluma opened 31 years ago, when just about everyone made the occasional trip to a rental store to pick up the latest blockbuster for movie night. It was the last of a eight-location Bay Area rental chain started by brothers Rick and Scott Lafranchi in 1986.
“It was a vibrant, exciting place to be,” Rick Lafranchi told the Petaluma Argus Courier. “Video stores came before Starbucks — this is where people came to meet and talk. On a Friday, Saturday night, you could have 100 people running around in here. Family was a big part of our business back in the day.”
But the business model, Lafranchi says, has “run its course.”
Sales declined with the rise of streaming services, the store kept afloat by nostalgic, loyal locals and customers whose internet connection isn’t strong enough to support a Netflix binge.
“There are so many different options out there right now, I’m actually surprised we were able to last here as long as we have,” said Lafranchi in an interview with KTVU.
Over the past few months, Silver Screen Video has been selling off its DVD inventory of 50,000 TV shows and movies. They’re going for as little as 20 for $20.
Earlier this year, a Blockbuster in Bend, Ore., made headlines as the last of its kind on the planet. At its height, Blockbuster had 9,000 stores worldwide.
The Bend Blockbuster has become a tourist attraction of sorts, attracting curious and wistful visitors from across the globe. And business is apparently strong, serving a community which prefers recommendations from a human rather than an algorithm.
“It’s pure stubbornness, for one. We didn’t want to give in,” said general manager Sandi Harding.
Katie Dowd is an SFGATE Senior Digital Editor. Contact: email@example.com | Twitter: @katiedowd
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/petaluma-video-rental-store-closed-silver-screen-14366460.php.