Black Dog Video

Black Dog Video set to close this December

Another one for the deadpool. Damn you, Internets. Black Dog Video, the beloved West Queen West video store known for its superb collection of rare and indie flicks, will shut down for good by the end of this year. This is a blow for insatiable documentary fans such as myself who find themselves left with fewer and fewer places from which to discover new films.

Black Dog has been on Queen for the last nine years (in its current spot for the last four) but is being pushed out, essentially because of rent increases. "Expenses keep going up, and revenue is going down because of downloading," Black Dog owner Brian Gay tells me. "The decision is lease-driven," he continues. "Rent has tripled in the last eight years. So we've decided to retire the store."

I ask Brian why they've opted to shut down the business, rather than move to a less expensive location. "Well, with the state of the industry," he says, "and factoring in things like renovations, it wouldn't be worth it. Even the rent on Dundas or Ossington is getting outrageous."

While Black Dog's Toronto days may be numbered, the two Vancouver locations are to be thriving, according to Brian. "All of the stores around them have been closing down, but they will still be around," he says. "They're sort of like the Queen Video of Vancouver."

"Everyone is quite upset," Brian continues. "Especially hardcore film people, since a lot of the movies we have can't be found online."

As for Black Dog's collection of more than 14,000 titles, everything will be for sale starting today. Prices start at $5 and go up to about $100 for rare films.

Photo by Eric Parker on Flickr


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