The days of the corner video store are now a distant memory, replaced by online streaming or Redbox. However, one of the last brick and mortar outposts lives on in Norfolk in the form of Naro Expanded Video.
Tim Cooper and Linda McGreevy took over the business in 1996. While they admit times are tough in the era of Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime, the eclectic store limps on. The couple say it’s more like a library and an educational resource than a traditional video store. It attained non-profit status last year and is now Naro Expanded Video Archival Library. There are more than 40,000 videos in the collection.
Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers is happy to have recently made a donation of $1,000 to Naro Expanded Video Archival Library.
The store originally received its name from Naro Expanded Cinema which is next door on Colley Street in Ghent. It started life in 1989 and Tim and Linda took it over seven years later.
“We have the problem of dealing with the way video is changing,” said Linda. “We decided to go non-profit to keep it going.
“We are now an archival library open to the public. We are here for educational use by people who need this sort of thing, schools and the like and also individuals,” she said.
They also go to showings at private homes and give presentations about films. Tim recently gave a talk about Screwball comedy by Preston Sturges at a private showing. He says community outreach is an important part of the non-profit.
Naro Expanded Video has recent releases as well as extensive sections of films like documentaries, Film Noir, movies by great directors, art fiction, international movies, and world and U.S. history. Even hippies and the Beat Generation have their own section.
“We have things that get overlooked like Gun Crazy – one of my favorites,” said Tim.
Tim and Linda say the size of their inventory and the specialist knowledge of staff sets them aside from other video stores
“If you add all of our employees together, we know just about everything about movies,” said Tim.
“We’re hobbling along and still enjoying what we do – most of the time,” he added.
Linda said less than 10 video libraries and stores across the country are staying afloat. There’s one in Seattle and one in Los Angeles and a small store in Richmond, Virginia.
“There are very few. There’s none in New York anymore,” said Linda.
“People need to understand that in order to keep a collection like this going, we need a bit of support beyond people coming in and renting,” she said.
Cooper Hurley supports numerous good causes in the community. If you are yet to visit Naro Expanded Video yet, you should check it out. Read more about some of the good causes we have sponsored here. Contact us at (757) 455-0077.