[Obligatory shameless self-promotion: If you haven't already, consider entering the contest.]
I've been meaning to do this one for a while, another post where I promote a local small business. This one is another particular favorite of myself and my close friends Jess and Andrea, partly because it's in the town where we all live and partly because it's quite honestly one of a kind. I speak of Jay & Brian's Excellent Video Store.
In this day of Netflix and Redbox and Blockbuster kiosks, there really are no movie rental stores to be found in our area anymore. None, that is, except this one. Half the store is rentals and half is purchases. The rental price is supremely reasonable - it's hard to beat a dollar a night - and unlike many rental boxes, you can pay cash if you don't have or want to use a credit card. Their inventory is 9,000 titles strong.
On the sale side, they buy and resell used DVDs, but also video games (for any console), gaming consoles and equipment, and Hollywood memorabilia of all kinds. The glass display case under the registers exhibits an ever-changing parade of books and collectibles, and various figurines from movies and video games watch you from shelves on high as you explore the store's offerings. Movie posters adorn the walls, and a high-definition television is constantly showing some film or other.
All this is very cool, but to be honest, this is not the reason we go there, or at least not the full reason.
The main reason we go there is because Jay and Brian themselves are really, truly, inherently nice people. They know us by sight when we enter. They remember that Jess and Andrea are sisters and that I'm not, but they have me on their rental account anyway. They're straightforward and honest when buying things from us and always give logical reasons for the prices they offer. Their trade-in deals go past reasonable into the realm of generous. And they're just plain friendly. Sometimes we end up staying longer than normal customers just because we start shooting the breeze.
Also, there is a dog who lives there, and she has the run of the store and she greets us on arrival like she's known us all her life. Being animal lovers, we enjoy this more than we should and spend a significant part of each visit distributing tummy rubs and ear skritchies. I admit she scared me the first time I went in, but that's only because - well, who expects to see a dog lying on the floor in the video store? But I got over that in about twenty seconds, because she is a sweetheart.
I imagine I'll be dropping by the store sometime soon, because my education in the world of Marvel Comics has been sadly lacking and I still haven't gotten to see Captain America. So they can expect a visit from me before long. In the meantime, though, if you're Lehigh Valley local and in need of a couple DVDs for your next movie night, stop in and see Jay and Brian.