He owns it all, yet he still calls it a rental joint.
Following the closure of his local movie rental store during the coronavirus pandemic, one man spent his extra time in lockdown building an homage to it in his own basement.
“During quarantine, my husband built a video rental store in our basement,” says the man’s wife in a viral TikTok video tour of the space. The clip, published on Tuesday, has already racked up 300,000 likes as of Wednesday afternoon. It was uploaded to an account with the handle @thevideobunker, which currently has just two videos — both tours of the space — but more than 307,000 likes.
The man was inspired to build out his basement into a replica of a ’90s-energy Blockbuster when his local rental spot closed during the pandemic and gave away its shelves. The store apparently went the way of most movie rental brick and mortars — save for one plucky Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon, now a tourist hot spot.
“The start of quarantine last year coincided with the closure of our local Family Video, which gave my husband access to a lot of shelving and a crazy idea,” the woman says, walking down a carpeted aisle packed with DVDs and ending in a large “E.T.” statue.
“He decided he needed a project at the house to keep himself busy.”
But, to her apparent annoyance, “instead of refinishing our kitchen cabinets, he decided to build a video rental store.”
The main room of the store contains the couple’s collection of DVDs and Blu-rays, a drink fridge, a counter full of movie snacks, a cash register, “as well as a lot of random movie knick-knacks that he’s picked up every now and then.”
Off the main room is a viewing room featuring two recliners, wall-to-wall shelving of the man’s VHS tapes, a LaserDisc player and a collection of retro video games.
In the second video on the account, a man dressed in rainbow suspenders and a tucked-in graphic T-shirt — perhaps the basement rental joint’s creator and proprietor — shows where the adult section is.
“It’s up here, behind the counter, so you’ll have to blush when you ask for titles like ‘The Night Crawler,’” the man says, holding up a VHS tape bearing the image of a man in bondage.
Since being posted, the TikTok videos have been cross-posted and gone viral on other social-media platforms including Reddit.