My Store Just Died

What We Lost When Rocket Video Closed Its Doors

On October 7, Rocket Video, the last great independent video rental store in the city of Los Angeles, closed its doors for good. I was Rocket’s manager. The store had been in business for 30 years, and I’d been working there for 15.

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 …