Locally owned video store moves a little, expands a lot

November 3, 2006
By

JOHN SWAN


Gazette Photo by John Swan
Donald Marshall browses the racks of The Video Underground at 385 Centre St..

HYDE SQUARE—The Video Underground store moved a few yards from its old location into new digs at 385 Centre Street earlier this fall, increasing its size three-fold. The expansion came at an opportune time with the recent news that JP’s other video store, Videosmith, is closing.

“We needed more space, and since we moved business has been booming and our customer response has been great,” said owner Evonne Wetzner, who started The Video Underground four years ago.

“We love Video Underground and are excited about the expansion It’s great for the neighborhood,” said Sara Marshall as she browsed the aisles with her husband Donald, who held their 6-month-old daughter, Logan, sleeping in his arms. “We live right around the block, and this is so convenient. And it carries movies you wouldn’t find in the mega-stores.”


“I love the selection of documentary films here,” Donald said. “And the staff is very friendly and knowledgeable. If they don’t have what you’re looking for they can order it and have it here pretty quickly.”

“We stock all the new releases, but also focus on independent films, documentaries, foreign films, locally-made films, cult films and film noir,” said Wetzner, who explained her business hasn’t been hurt by Internet rentals like Netflix as much as other stores like Videosmith.

“One reason is that we often have titles not available online, and I think people also like the social experience of renting a movie locally. JP residents seem to go out of their way to support neighborhood businesses,” she said.

The new space includes a small screening room accommodating up to 20 people. There is also a courtyard in the back where Wetzner said she plans to have screenings starting this spring.

As part of those ongoing screenings, Video Underground is featuring the area premiere of the award-winning film “Silent Voyeur” tonight at 7 p.m. with director George Koszulinski coming up from Florida to attend the showing.

“I’m so happy with the new shop. It gives us a chance to grow in ways the old site couldn’t,” Wetzner said. “We’ll just keep listening to our customers and provide the best service we can.”

Store hours are from 1 to 11 p.m., seven days a week. For more info visit their web site at thevideounderground.com, or call 522-4949.

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