I’ve written plenty of times about US Video and its owner Mr. Kim. I even featured it on my Mission Mural at Galeria de la Raza. Even with all of that, my lifelong relationship to the rental video shop on Mission Street has best been summed up by this comic I did for Mission Loc@l.
That’s why I’m utterly devastated that US Video is in the process of liquidating its assets and closing down. Walking by it on Mission Street today I couldn’t help but reenact the last scene of Planet of the Apes. I guess Mr. Kim’s mighty empire of porn could not insulate him from the rise of adult content on the web. I shot this animated gif of Mr. Kim closing the store down for the night and shed a little tear. I’ll enjoy this sight while I still can.
The closing of US Video marks the final death of Video stores in the Mission that cater to working class Latino families in the neighborhood. All that’s left in the neighborhood is Lost Weekend. I never thought I’d live to see the day that it would be easier to rent a copy of some obscure Orson Welles film than a copy of Transformers (or some other commercial mainstream movie).
Mariela and I talk a lot of trash about new businesses that come into the neighborhood when old ones close down. There’s a glut of certain types of businesses in the Mission that continue to open up even when our streets are choked with ones identical to them. If US Video’s storefront gets turned into a nail salon, hair salon, check cashing business, 99 cent store, or Cell Phone shop then someone’s ass is getting kicked. Believe that.
R.I.P. US Video,