Renting Art Films in VHS
December 7, 2004 12:03 AM   Subscribe

Torontonians: Where can you rent art films on VHS these days? Generally Bay St. Video covers all my rental needs, but they only rent DVDs now, which is great for movies that are available on DVD, but less great for those that aren't. (+)

The movie I'm looking for specifically is Night on Earth by Jim Jarmusch - not especially obscure but presumably not readily on hand down at the Blockbuster. It's for a paper that is due in a week's time (not the main focus, but it's an essay on Jarmusch's career, so I really need to have seen all his films), so it's not like I can just order it from Amazon (it takes 2-5 weeks to ship).

(Also, this has come up for me in the past. I had the same problem with Johnny Guitar - though I think that I could get from the U of T library if I really wanted. Night on Earth is only available for short term loan on the Scarborough campus, and I refuse to believe I can't find this thing downtown.)

Any ideas?
posted by SoftRain to Media & Arts (13 answers total)
Have you tried Suspect? They still carry a lot of stuff on video, give them a ring.
posted by bobo123 at 1:32 AM on December 7, 2004

Check out Film Buff, on Roncesvalles, about a 5 minute walk north of Queen on the east side. They have a great selection, and a lot of stuff on VHS.

Conveniently, FB is about five minutes down Roncie from my place, so if you'd like to grab a coffee or some such, my email is my username at gmail. :)

(Not a come-on; I'm a big poof.)
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:36 AM on December 7, 2004

Queen Video on Bloor or Suspect on Markham, by Honest Eds.
I hears rumors on the internets there's a place in the Danforth across the street and slightly west from the Big Carrot that's supposed to be the shiznit.

incidently I want to give a bit more air time to the meetup that may be happening in TO. More about it here
posted by joelf at 1:47 AM on December 7, 2004

On the Danforth? That would be....... er... dammit. I used to go to that video store all the damn time. Olympia or something (though that's just a guess, and really, in that neighbourhood everything's called Olympia).
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 4:35 AM on December 7, 2004

The one on Danforth is Revue Video. I stopped going there *because* they have so many VHS. Films are organized by major director so it should be easy to find.
posted by SNACKeR at 4:47 AM on December 7, 2004

Queen Video on Bloor or Suspect on Markham

Also try Queen Video's original location on Queen St. (a block or two west of Spadina) and Suspect's Queen St. location.

And if you're a Jim Jarmusch fan, be sure to check out his appearance on Fishing With John, available on VHS at Suspect and DVD elsewhere.

"John Lurie knows absolutely nothing about fishing, but that doesn't stop him from undertaking the adventure of a lifetime on Fishing With John. Traveling with his special guests to the most exotic and dangerous places on earth, John Lurie battles sharks with Jim Jarmusch off the tip of Long Island, goes ice fishing with Willem Dafoe at Maine's northernmost point, braves the Costa Rican jungle with Matt Dillon, takes Tom Waits to Jamaica, and searches for the elusive giant squid with Dennis Hopper in Thailand."

Jim Jarmusch is awesome. Coffee and Cigarettes haunts me still.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 5:05 AM on December 7, 2004

There's a guy named dobbs you might want to ask.
posted by blueshammer at 6:40 AM on December 7, 2004

Hi blueshammer ;)

Most of the shops I'd suggest are already mentioned but here's my rambling nonsense of a post anyway. Keep in mind that the stores selling VHS these days are selling them so cheap it's like renting.

The city is drying up for VHS. Revue on Danforth, last I heard, got rid of their VHS. Call to confirm, though. Bay Street did the same and Queen'll go that way soon as soon as Howie grows a brain (which probably won't be soon) so try their Q and Spadina location as suggested above.

On Bathurst, south of Dupont is a not so great store called After Dark Video. They're getting rid of all their VHS for cheap so you might be able to buy the title from them for under $10.

Suspect, as mentioned above, more than definitely has it. They're on Markham (one block west of Bathurst), two doors south of Bloor. Wear gloves when browsing. The store is filthy (and the staff are all indie film snobs).

Film Buff as mentioned above, more than likely has it. Scott, the owner, isn't selling off his VHS though he is moving it slowly to his house to make room for DVD. If they don't have it in inventory (which if it ain't on DVD they more than likely will have it), he can probably bring it in from home.

On Yonge just south of St. Clair is a place I forget the name of (east side) that may have it as well though the chances are slim. If you're close to there just walk over.

Across from Suspect on Markham is a place called Vintage Video that more than likely has it for sale (they don't do rental) but the bugger who owns the place charges up the wazoo so might not be worth checking.

Hollywood Canteen, if they're still around (way way out east on Danforth), may have it for rent.

I'd say there's a 90% chance that 7-24 Movies and More on Church has it. They're just south of... Wellesley, I think. Across from the Second Cup. One of the most overlooked stores in the city, probably because it's in the gay part of town.

If you're downtown, pop into BMV on Edward Street (right next to World's Biggest Book Store) as they may have it for sale, as well.

Lastly, there's one on eBay right now for $6.99 Buy It Now, new.

And since I'm rambling about this stuff anyway, there are two new excellent DVD only places worth visiting in the city: Black Dog Video on Queen West and a terrific little place called Film Fest DVD. They're around Yonge and Eglinton (one block west of Yonge and one door north of Eg) at 405 Duplex. They're new and need business. Help keep 'em alive! Go now! 416-322-3555.
posted by dobbs at 7:19 AM on December 7, 2004

Oh, one more thing... The Toronto Public Library system has both the films you're looking for.
posted by dobbs at 7:23 AM on December 7, 2004

7-24 is, yes, two doors south of Wellesley on Church, beside Yogen Fruz.

dobbs, whatever happened to your planned movie nights?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:38 AM on December 7, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks guys!

I had thought of Queen but I for some reason had the idea that they weren't renting VHS anymore (I think because the new one on College that I frequented this summer doesn't have any.) But I'm told it's findable.

dobbs, especially thanks in general; it's so rare I can't find something at Bay St. of the U of T system that I couldn't even think where to begin.

Fuzzy Monster: My essay is actually mostly about Coffee and Cigarettes. It just keeps getting better the more I think about it.
posted by SoftRain at 10:38 AM on December 7, 2004

SoftRain, you're welcome. Good luck.

dirty: on hold for now. I got a large contract job which I'm just finishing. In addition, I'm fearful of mixing my private life with my net life due to bad past experiences so I may not go through with it. If I do, it'll be sometime in 2005.
posted by dobbs at 1:13 PM on December 7, 2004

Ahh, righto then.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:07 AM on December 8, 2004

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