After 23 years in business, Clinton Street Video will close its doors on Saturday, November 17. The news comes via Facebook, where the store also announced they'll be selling off some of their films starting Saturday, November 3, and that their neighbor across the street, the Clinton Street Theater, will be hosting a "FREE CLINTON STREET VIDEO CELEBRATION PARTY" on Sunday, November 18.
"As you can only imagine," Clinton Street Video's post reads, "we cannot afford to remain open."
Clinton Street Video's closure is part of a familiar story nationwide—but it's a story that's been particularly painful in Portland. In 2010, the Hollywood Video chain—which was run out of Wilsonville, and had been purchased for $1.3 billion just three years earlier—went out of business, but a slew of smaller, independent, and locally owned video stores had a far greater cultural impact on Portland. Like Clinton Street Video, they offered titles that mainstream streaming services simply can't be bothered to provide.
In 2016, the small Portland chain Videorama quietly closed its last two stores; in 2011, NW Thurman's Trilogy Video closed; 2012 was the final year for the fantastic Video Verite on N Mississippi.
"It always seemed obvious to me that the mainstream chain stores would be the first to go, and that proved to be the case," Video Verite owner Marc Mohan told the Mercury at the time. "Independent stores, which catered to a more film-literate clientele, are the last holdouts, but now they are riding off into the digital sunset as well."
Clinton Street Video will remain open through November 17—so there's still plenty of time to swing by, whether you're looking to rent something or pick up one of their titles once they go on sale. And after that, thankfully, we'll still have Movie Madness—a Portland institution that was saved last year, thanks to the Hollywood Theatre and 4,639 Kickstarter backers.