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The Last Video Store

By Alex Jabre
On April 13, 2012

October 7 was my very first shift at FLiX. At 5:30 p.m., I open up the store, feeling jittery and immediately grab a pack of Sour Punch Straws. I pop in Good Night and Good Luck in the DVD player, as a consolation for having to miss the free screening of The Ides of March that night. My shift went well for the most part, despite a few mistakes, and when it was over I had officially worked a job for the first time in my life.

The FLiX video store, which was established in 2003, is finally closing its doors after nine years of business. It's truly a bittersweet moment for me. It's sad because this long-lasting business that made so many people happy is

saying good-bye, but I was at least able to be a part of it for a year. The notion that we would outlast other video store chains likeBlockbuster was once unthinkable, but we did it; we really are the last video store. My first memory of FLiX is

from the night when my brother Nick and I had just returned from a basketball game at Cintas. We

decided to pop into the store, and I immediately fell in love with it. We ended up renting Scary Movie 4 and laughed all night at its glorious disgustingness. Honestly, FLiX was one of the reasons why I wanted to come to Xavier. I immediately looked for a position in the fall after hearing horror stories of its near-closure. I knew it would be perhaps my only chance to work at a video store while they were still around. From October to now, I worked about two shifts a week, three hours each, but the time always

flew by so quickly. How can it not when you're surrounded by

hundreds of movies? As the store manager, one thing I really enjoyed was interacting with the customers

- giving them suggestions, complementing them on their

choices, or (in my case) ever singing to them. Yeah, I was that guy. My mantra to the customers was: "Here at FLiX, we love you!" Contrary to popular belief, I actually didn't watch movies in the store most of the time; I was too busy catching up on homework. But indeed, I always reveled at

the prospect of having free movies constantly at my fingertips. We were never paid, and yet I still volunteered for extra shifts anyway. That's how much I loved working there.

Eventually, we all realized that FLiX just wasn't going to last for the next few years. Deciding to close down our doors was incredibly difficult, but ultimately, the right thing to do. I ended up getting the last shift of FLiX. I celebrated this, in a bookending fashion, by chewing on Sour Punch Straws as Darren Aronofsky's mathematical thriller Pi played on

TV. We've managed to sell every DVD and the funds from the store are either going to be used to start up a new business or be liquidated for a scholarship, which - oddly enough - was what FLiX was always meant to do from the

beginning. That gave me some comfort. Working at FLiX was the best first job I could've asked for, and I'm eternally grateful for the opportunity to have worked there.

I only bought one movie during the sale. Scary Movie 4. It was the one that started it all.

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