Chelsea Operation Is Among Dying Breed Of Independent Video Stores

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Alan’s Alley, one of a dying breed of independent video stores in New York City, closed its old location this week and prepared to reopen a short distance to the east – prevailing over earlier fears that the store might close for good.

The video store had been in operation at 207A Ninth Ave. in Chelsea since 1988. It is known in Chelsea for its vast selection of about 40,000 films of all genres on VHS and DVD – serving both a devoted neighborhood customer base and producers of television shows such as “The Today Show” and the “Colbert Report” in search of hard-to-find clips, DNAInfo recalled.

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The store has received rave reviews from Facebook users.

“The best! I grew up going to Alan’s Alley and got a better film education here than at film school,” one user wrote in March. “When I had a problem thinking of movies in a certain genre for my boss the other day, I called up and Alan saved the day.”

Last month, Alan’s Alley announced that it was being forced to close due to “rising rents and changes in technology.”

Speaking to DNAInfo last month, owner Alan Sklar said he was looking for new space in Chelsea but could not find much at the time. He earlier told Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York he did not think he would be able to find another place in the city with affordable rent.

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But last week, the store announced that it had “happily risen from the ashes.”

The store, which closed its old Ninth Avenue location on Tuesday, is moving to 164 W. 25th St., Suite 5D, and will be accepting phone calls at the new location next week, according to a Facebook post.

The resident cat at Alan’s Alley, named D.J., will still be found at the new location, the Facebook post said.

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