Two decades after its closure, artist and businessman Tucker Brennan has announced plans to reopen the famed RST Video as a boutique store later this year. As its predecessor was, RST Video will be a functional video store, renting and selling over 3,000 titles on VHS, DVD, Blu-ray, and other home entertainment formats. Video games, antique electronics, and more will also be available. The brick-and-mortar location will be complemented by a heavy online presence that will expand RST Video’s footprint across the globe. However, Brennan hopes to prioritize in-person connections for cinephiles and pop culture fanatics alike.
Brennan, who has amassed a large social media following under the pseudonym OG VHS, hopes to usher video store culture into the 21st century. He has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to renovate the store to its original interior design. Incentives for contributors include T-shirts, merchandise boxes, and an invite to the store’s exclusive grand opening party.
"This has been a labor of love," Brennan said of the endeavor. "Video stores were a prevalent part of my youth. With the rechristened RST Video, I am enacting my dream: to give fans a one-stop destination for a unique, communal retail experience lost in the age of streaming."
In addition to being just a cool video store, the Leonardo-based RST has become something of a geek mecca since Kevin Smith exploded into the popular consciousness in the mid-'90s. While the poor clerks at the Quick Stop next door are constantly bombarded with tourists buying up all their vaseline, asking for just "cigarettes" instead of a brand, and messing around with their eggs, their requests to peek inside of RST have been, for years now, denied by ownership on the grounds that it isn't actually a functioning business. Brennan, though, plans to bring RST back -- complete with much of the old stock, the original signage, cash register, and as many fixtures as are still viable after all these years.
"I love this idea!" Kevin Smith, the store's most famous customer and employee, told ComicBook.com. "Can't wait to do an in-store appearance there so I can go back to work at R.S.T. Video again!"
Brennan told ComicBook.com that he did not imagine himself as any kind of competitor to the Smith-owned geek mecca Jay & Silent Bob's Secret Stash, which is not far from the Quick Stop convenience store and RST Video "block of stores." Brennan said that while he intends to sell some View Askew merchandise, he will likely be purchasing it from Smith's store, and it will be fairly minimal given that the store needs to stock, you know -- videos. The shop will carry RST-branded t-shirts and merch, though, which you can order now as perks on IndieGoGo.
With a plan to open in November, it seems that by the start of 2020, there will be as many RST Video locations in the world as there are Blockbuster stores. You can like the company on Facebook or follow them on Twitter and Instagram at @RSTVideos.