SAN FRANCISCO, U.S.A.. With the most famous video store, Blockbuster, filing for bankruptcy in 2010, the video store is a thing of the past, a relic, something dead and gone.

In San Francisco, however, the life of video stores still has hope. Three very well-known video stores have been in business for over 16 years on average – Le Video, Top Video World, and Lost Weekend. Stepping into each store is like taking a DeLorean back to the beloved 90s.

Le Video has been in business for over 30 years, according to their website, and is on the second floor of Green Apple Book store. With a brand new facelift, cinephiles can peruse through aisles of New Releases and award worthy films with the smell of newly cut wood and fresh paint wafting in the air.

Top Video World is just around the corner from Le Video and is much smaller in size, boasting the title “your neighborhood mom and pop video store.” This little video store has been around since 1998, with two locations. Walking into Top Video is like walking into a convenience store, small storefront with a ton of stuff crammed in – including phone accessories. The videos are 75 percent New Releases going for $3-5/rental that is due back in 3 days. Top Video also offers a pre-paid package deal and a rent two get one free deal from mon – thurs. If you’re trying to find the newest releases, come here during the weekdays for the best deals.

And the holy grail of video stores is Lost Weekend Video Rentals or ‘Mimi’ as the staff so endearing call it, has been open for about 18 years, according to staff. With a Criterion collection and an extensive section divided by Directors’ last names, this place is where movie buffs and snobs alike can geek out! The staff are over-knowledgeable about obscure and mainstream movies. Sidenote: I’m definitely jealous. If you can’t find a movie here, then you’re looking for an ultra hard to find movie that they can help you locate online. Lost Weekend’s New Release rentals are pretty short, a one-day rental only. But clearly they are trying to steer you away from new movies. Lost Weekend also has a little barista station and ‘A Cave’ where local comedians come to show off their finest stand-up. Sign up to be a member and check out as many cult classics or foreign films as your hipster heart desires for 5 nights. And on Wednesdays all rentals are $2.

Even though there are far and few video stores all over the country, the video store is not dead; merely endangered. Online video rental services are the culprit for the massacre of so many video stores, but the ones that are still around are the gems. And those gems should be treasured as such, so support these beautiful video stores.

Le Video
1231 9th Ave
San Francisco, California

Top Video World
347 Judah St
San Francisco, California

Lost Weekend Video
1034 Valencia St
San Francisco, California