There’s a new red sign stretched above the fading film posters in the storefront windows of Audio Video Plus at 1225 Waugh. It reads “Closeout Sale.” The Mecca for movie buffs has been closed for the last few days. Today, the heavy shutters securing the store’s entryway were drawn tight and the parking lot was even more empty than it usually is during business hours. The coming event, referred to as a “Customer Preview” sale in a note taped to the storefront, is scheduled for this Friday and Saturday, from 11 to 7. Is this the end of the line for the longtime specialty renter-retailer, or just a little flushing of the VHS archives?
The North Montrose store’s thousands and thousands of titles — most of them still on VHS — represent a mind-boggling spectrum of niches. For decades, it’s drawn the cinema-savvy as well as those just trying to track down a favorite old flick or TV series. On view from the sleepy decades-old spot at the corner of Clay St.: changes in technology and viewing habits that have bypassed many corners of its extensive catalog, and parcel-by-parcel knockdowns and redos of nearby properties.