I met Ray after stumbling into Classic Video a few weeks ago. After browsing the shelves for a few minutes, Ray approached me and we started talking about films- one of my favourite topics as a film student. His story about how he joined Classic Video, how the store defeated Video Rental giants –Blockbuster- and how Classic has become a community hub- made me want to make a short film on his experience.
A few weeks later I created Classic Video: A Love Story. This short film wasn’t supposed to focus on Ray, but after interviewing him I realized his story was that of Classic Videos. The store and Ray have become part of the local Kingston landscape, from the wedding proposals that happened at the store to the heartwarming stories of strangers coming together through Ray’s ability to build friendships.
In my four years as a resident of Kingston, I’ve seen a lot of changes happen Downtown. The closing of Empire Cinema, Indigo, and many other businesses makes me worried about what the city will look like in another four years- as more storefronts are boarded up.
That’s why Classic Video makes me so happy. It’s been around for thirty years, and I know if Ray has anything to do with it- he’ll make sure it’s around for another thirty.
Submitted to Kingstonist’s Community Soapbox by film maker Hamza Bangash.