Greenpoint's longstanding DVD rental store Photoplay will close this week, an employee at the store confirmed today. "Wednesday's our last night," said the clerk, who declined to be named because he was not authorized to talk about the closure. The extremely well-curated Manhattan Avenue establishment had been in business for over ten years, and owner Michael Sayers was always an erudite yet approachable presence behind the counter, recommending obscure titles and talking movies with the customers and staff.
We reached out to Sayers for an explanation regarding the abrupt closure and we'll update if we hear back. One employee tells Bedford + Bowery, which broke the news, that Sayers said "it’s just not working anymore, I’m not making any money." We'll have to wait and see how much the trendy neighborhood's rising rents affected Photoplay's bottom line, but as in all things, I blame GIRLS.
The closure marks the end of an era for DVD rentals in the area, and another victory for the forces of Instant Streaming On-Demand Content, delivered seamlessly without any risk of messy human interaction. Further south in Williamsburg, the equally long-running rental outlet Videology successfully transformed into a bar and screening room to stay afloat. They still rent DVDs, but searching for a copy of The Matrix: Reloaded in Blu-Ray surrounded by festive people drinking beer and socializing with all their friends can be sort of depressing, sources say.