Now that Independent Video Library, located on 40th and Locust Streets, has closed, students may have to use Netflix or make the trek to the Blockbuster Video on 48th Street to satisfy their Friday night movie fix.
Most of the space vacated by Video Library will become a part of the neighboring game store, Redcap’s Corner.
Oliver Assiran, who bought Video Library from its previous owner in 2008, said he decided to shut down after being unable to afford the rent.
“Financially, it wasn’t feasible for us to stay there anymore,” he said.
But financial instability was not the only issue that the owner encountered. After installing a camera system, Assiran said he also discovered theft in the store.
He said the store had been experiencing “shrinkage” of merchandise for some time, and the video footage unveiled the identities of the culprits.
Assiran said before its closure, Video Library was a place in which customers could find art and international films alongside comic books — “stuff you couldn’t find in Blockbuster.”
He described his experience as a first-time business owner as having a lot of “great” customers in West Philadelphia.
Assiran added that he is contemplating starting another business in West Philadelphia but is still unsure.
Now that the Video Library space is available, the owners of Redcap’s Corner said they have begun renovations to expand their store by renting 60 percent of the Video Library’s original space.
The additional space will allow Redcap’s Corner to significantly increase their stock and shelf space, the owners said.
“We’ve been carrying the bare minimum of games so far,” Benn Roe, co-owner of Redcap’s Corner, said.
After the renovations, the store will “have a lot of depth of product,” according to Adam Friedman, the store’s other co-owner.
Currently, the store hosts board games, card games, “miniatures games” and role-playing games. The majority of the games that they sell and host are role-playing, science-fiction- and fantasy-themed.
Family board games are also sold and hosted at the store, according to its owners.
They also host tournaments, such as the trading card game, Magic: The Gathering — their most popular event. Other tournaments include Dungeons & Dragons, Yu-gi-oh and Pathfinder as well.
Both owners expect customers to have an easier shopping experience with the larger store.
Tables will no longer be arranged in the stock area during game tournaments, and the playing area will be in a separate part of the store.
Up until the renovations, the store could only host 45 customers during game tournaments. After renovations, it will be able to seat 100, according to Roe and Friedman.
A spokesperson for Campus Apartments, the company that owns the space occupied by the stores, did not return a request for comment.
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