My first Video Cassette Recorder, now likely sitting under tons of garbage in the rotting covered up dumps of Ulster County next to some old 8-track tape players, was a top loader, with a mechanical spring loaded cartridge holder that burst forth like a jack-in-the-box when the button was clunked into place. What a revelation — you could record a TV show and fast forward through the commercials. And soon enough after that you could walk over to Woodstock Video, first located on Tinker Street on the Bearsville side of the hamlet and have yourself a browse through the old movies there, just like a library, and rent one or two to take home. For about two and a half decades, it was a going business, moving into Bradley Meadows and renting DVDs. But it appears to now have been officially killed by Netflix and the computer revolution, and the readiness and handiness of almost any video media online. And though the owner of Woodstock Video, Wahid, has chosen not to comment, the shop, which held out long after the Blockbusters of the world gave up the ghost, is apparently through.
The space occupied by Woodstock Video is up for rent as the store closes after a quarter-century in business. Located in the Bradley Meadows shopping plaza on Route 212, the shop measures about 2500 square feet, said real estate agent Bob Perl of Tower Brokerage in Manhattan. “It could be subdivided into two stores,” said Perl. “Someone is already interested in half the space, and we’re exploring that as a possibility.”
The annual rent will be about $25 per square foot.
About the closing of Woodstock Video, Perl commented, “It’s one of the last remaining video stores in the country. He’s the last of the Mohicans out there. He held out 25 years, and how many businesses are out there that long?”
Perl touted the advantages of Bradley Meadows as a commercial location due to its abundant parking. “Woodstock has very few places with adequate parking. And this is right at the entrance to town. It’s remarkable that of the four businesses there, the bank is the original tenant and has been there for 40 years or so, Sunflower for 35 years, and the drugstore has been there forever. It’s highly unusual.”
Although the buildings are architecturally plain, he added, “They’re nicely maintained. The place represents stability.”