“It’s not what it use to be like,” said Glenn Ford, owner of The Video Post in Matoaca. Ford, 74, is one of the last video stores in our readership area and possibly in the region. With the corporate stores closing as quickly as they can, laying off workers, lowing their overhead by reducing their footprint to an automated box with $1 rentals, the final curtain on the early days of video renting is coming to a close.
On July 1, The Video Post located on River Road in Matoaca shut down the business as it has existed for the last 25 years. What remains are hundreds of DVDs and over 800 video tapes of movies that are available for buying. Many will be current, but if you are looking for a block buster from the 80s, there is every possibility you may find it in the archives of Ford’s video collection. All DVDs are $3.99. He feels the video tapes will be sold in bulk on EBay.
Ford said he wouldn’t think of trying to sell the business to someone. “It just isn’t worth it,” he said during the final weeks of minding the store. He doesn’t own the building but praises his landlord as a good one. His recent business activity has had more trouble of members walking off with the rental. Not returning the DVD or paying the late fees. “It’s just not worth going up to the courthouse. It is such a small amount each time,” referring to the courts being too busy to deal with small stuff. “I quit taking memberships. Just recently I had trouble with a new member. His mother was one of my first members [25 years ago.]” Ford went on to tell the story on trying to catch up with deliquent members and their missing DVDs. He would phone them. “But today they all have cellphones and their mailboxes are always full. I guess there are a lot of other people trying to catch up with them.” He dismissed their non-trustworthiness. “You know, maybe they put it in the car to return it and it fell underneath the seat and they forgot about it.” The most recent, he caught up finally with the girlfriend and he assured her he returned it.
The Video Post has been in operation since 1986. “The Video Post is a Matoaca Icon,” said his son, Marshall. “He has always been on the cutting edge ... He started with VHS rentals when BETA was in ... He sold music compact discs before anyone else; rented video games before there was a GAMESTOP, switched to DVD rentals when they became more popular than VHS and now is currently operating two tanning beds.”
Ford keeps the store open daily from 1 p.m. – 9 p.m., but looks forward to the day he locks the door for the last time. During retirement, he hopes to do a lot of gardening and travel west to see the children.