With the closing of Acme Video our city has lost something truly unique. More than just an actual, factual, brick-and-mortar video store, more than just a portal into film history, Acme was a piece of history itself.
It was a living artifact. It was the one place left in the city where everyone could go and engage with movies the way we did before on-demand services. There’s something about being there, looking at and touching physical movie packaging, about the anticipation on the ride back home to watch whatever you’d rented. The first movie I ever rented from Acme Video was Katsuhiro Otomo’s anime masterpiece, Akira. There were lots after that and I remember almost all of them, because going there was always an experience.
Ralph Goudreau, Acme’s owner, was the gatekeeper, and his authority and guidance in navigating the wild, unpredictable world of movies was just as important as the movies themselves. I didn’t asked for his advice nearly enough, and I regret that now. Call it Streamer’s Remorse. The Redbox Blues.
Our movie watching options are legion and ever growing, but that physical experience of being there, browsing and interacting with a dude who cares so much about film is really what’s lost. Acme made watching movies at home feel significant. It all made the experience real in a way that an ever-growing Netflix queue never will.
Do you have any fond memories of Acme Video? Share them with us below.