Not So Long Ago: Wisconsin and Reservoir

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This week on Not So Long Ago, GM stops by Book Hill again. GM has to apologize about the current shot. There was a van and a new tree that sort of blocks the shot. But angles are angles, so that’s what we get when we try to replicate casual snapshots from a car 18 years ago.

What’s lurking behind the tree is Marston Luce. It’s been at 1651 Wisconsin Ave. for quite some time. However, in 1993 the space was occupied by Washington Video.

For GM’s younger readers: a video was a DVD that came in a large cartridge. You couldn’t skip “chapters”. You had to just press fast forward till it got to what you wanted. And when you finished, you had to rewind the thing for minutes before you could start watching it again.

For GM’s even younger readers: there once were stores that let you borrow movies. You had to physically go to the store, pick out the movies, go home with them, and then bring it back when you were done. And if you didn’t “rewind it” you could pay a fine. You weren’t even guaranteed that the store had what your wanted! You may have to go all the way there, find out they didn’t have it and then go home with a movie by someone called Pauly Shore, whose popularity scientists have yet to explain.*

Anyway, it’s interesting to see that the dominance of antique shops on Book Hill wasn’t in place yet by 1993.

Here are the photos:

*For the record, GM never rented any Pauly Shore movies, except maaaaaaybe Encino Man, but he was young and extremely stupid.



Filed under Not So Long Ago

5 responses to “Not So Long Ago: Wisconsin and Reservoir

  1. RNM

    “Be Kind, Rewind.”

    Also for young readers…in the dark ages before the internet, when you wanted to enjoy adult videos you had to go to a store like this and enter a private back room where you could browse movies featuring the likes of Ginger Lynn and Ron Jeremy. Now I could just download them in the time it has taken me to type this. Ah, isn’t progress great?

  2. William Newton

    Back when I was an undergrad, there was also a video store on N Street across from the UPS Store (which was then a Mailboxes, Etc.); I believe there is a fitness place now. They apparently sold fake I.D.’s. and were busted for it at one point.

  3. Tom

    This was a great video store with lots of oddball and foreign film selections. Plus, the guy who ran the place was extremely knowledgeable about movies and had great observations and knew all the back stories on the films and their stars. While there, you would run into your neighbors and talk about movies, share likes and dislikes, and finally get home in time to watch a movie.

  4. ChillyDC

    That video store also had a huge cat who used to lounge in the front window. I think I patronized the shop just to see him.

  5. Pingback: Not So Long Ago: Wisconsin and S | The Georgetown Metropolitan

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