Monday, June 13, 2011
Two Northampton Institutions Ride Into The Sunset
It seems that after nearly 30 years (I think) our beloved Pleasant Street Theater Video store will become Northampton Wools in a matter of weeks. Rumor has it that the Forbes Library is interested in buying the amazing collection of films that has provided so many households with well curated evenings of cinematic joy, horror, thrills, laughs, groans, panic, and even utter disgust. (Did anyone rent Centipede? Yuck!!! The middle segment would definitely be the worst even though #3 got the least nutrition.) Let's hope so. the collection should remain in the town's bloodstream and if it helps increase traffic at Forbes, then all the better. There are no more video stores in Northampton. Thanks, technology! ! I will miss the conversations with Dana, Bill, Philip, Gene, Jennifer, Patty, Chris and the rest as well as the communal rapport that regular customers developed. It's the kind of store where people would feel free to offer unsolicited tips (or warnings) to total (or partial) strangers. Even the staff would discourage me from renting a movie sometimes. Not because it necessarily sucked but because they knew I probably wouldn't like it. Because they knew me. So thank you, Pleasant Street Video staff, for your years of service and movie lists and good advice and wit and friendliness. (Painting by Robert Sweeney)
Back in the mid-80s, after a late night out dancing at the Northstar Seafood Bar to DJ's Jim McDee or Scotty Dread, or thrashing to the Pajama Slave Dancers and Watch The Teeth Kate at Sheehan's, everyone who was anyone showed up for breakfast at Jake's, which used to stay open until 3AM on weekends. Aside from ditching the late night hours, Jake's stayed the course and remained largely the same for all these years. Frills? Never had 'em. Never will. This Wednesday is the last day of business as usual at Jake's so come in, get a turkey club, maybe with carrots instead of chips, and say goodbye. After all these years, the black and white photo of the most regular customer, Bruce, must come down.
And what ever became of the Father's Day poster?
After I took this photo, someone bought one of these last two shirts right off the wall.