Houston Basement Now Offering Immersive VHS Rental Store Experience to a Few Tapeheads In the Know

HOUSTON BASEMENT NOW OFFERING IMMERSIVE VHS RENTAL STORE EXPERIENCE TO A FEW TAPEHEADS IN THE KNOW “It’s like the 80s threw up everywhere,”” eponymous Champion Video Rental founder Jason Champion tells LunchmeatVHS of his on-the-down-low basement video rental store, tucked away somewhere off Mills Rd. outside the Beltway. As of last month, Champion says the store is only open to friends and acquaintances for now, though he hopes to change that eventually; decor includes the full gamut of 80s video store memorabilia, like “a display case with candy, trading cards, VCRs, blank tapes, tape rewinders, and popcorn,” a free-play horror arcade machine, and various and sundry movie posters and movie-store accoutrements. Should the spot, which Champion describes on Facebook as a “VHS rental store, time machine, and video rental store museum,” go more public at some point, it might pick up the title of the only VHS-dedicated rental space left in town in the post-Blockbuster era. Last month’s opening of the literally and figuratively underground shop follows in the wake of Heights’ Weirdo Video’s brief run, the closure of Audio/Video Plus on Waugh Dr., and the move of Cactus Music (which didn’t bring its VHS collection with it to the current spot on Portsmouth St.). [Lunchmeat VHS via Dangerous Minds; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Champion Video Rental

9 Comment

  • Weird Video was really cool. It’s a shame it didnt last.

  • Maybe I’m miss-remembering, but VHS was never a cool format.
    I guess there was something to walking into a blockbuster (or hollywood video if you were one of the cool kids) and you and your friends picking up 3 or 4 tapes each. Standing around and discussing the merits of each, then ultimately deciding on only two tapes to watch that evening. Getting home and popping some popcorn as the title sequence ran, then watching your movie.
    That was great.
    The format sucked though, and when I have almost every conceivable movie on tap via amazon/netflix/hbogo/hulu, I ask, why would I subject myself to a dead format that was only used because there wasn’t anything better yet.
    I guess all I can say is that some hipsters are very weird.

  • Long live Betamax!

  • @toasty: The problem is that a lot of movies are not available on streaming services, DVD or Blu-ray. The attraction of VHS isn’t the medium but the films themselves.

  • Laserdiscs beat them all.

  • @Gisgo: Would you like to buy a collection of about 1,000 laserdiscs? Asking for a friend.

  • I miss Blocbuster……most of the videos,were crappy……but I liked, browsing buying treats, and watching the other people……we need some thing like this in Cally.

  • @toasty the format quality itself brings back nostalgia that a “remastered” blu-ray can never bring. The owner of the store is a personal friend and i can say he is the opposite of hipster. 90-95 percent of these VHS tapes are horror and many were never transferred to another format. If some collector has the means to digitize them they will never make it to amazon/netflix/hbogo/hulu/any other digital streaming service.

  • It’s not so much the format, although the nostalgia is there, it’s the movies that weren’t transfered to dvd or blu-ray. Some of the cheesiest movies are still on vhs and having a good laugh with good friends is never out of style. Plus, this was done as a labor of love. He didn’t create this for public consumption, but that’s what’s happening. Thus was strictly a hobby and creating a ‘video store’ was just for fun for his collection. He created a life size diorama, if you will, for his collection and once word got out it exploded. But, if you want to call him a hipster and judge before knowing everything go ahead, we can do the same.