It's the end of an era. TLA Video was the rental arm of the TLA movie empire—one that started as a funky, unpredictable movie theater on South Street and morphed into a chain of ultracool movie rental stores where patrons could find obscure Bollywood movies and drown in Janus and Criterion titles. There was all the mainstream stuff too, and the stores were known for their knowledgeable staff who, in order to get the job, had to prove their movie mettle on an unconventional job app. It says a lot that positions at TLA were coveted by advanced-degree holders even in an up economy, and that once hired, employees tended to stick around and get to know their customers' tastes—and their dogs.
As technology shifted, TLA increasingly found itself focusing on online sales and LGBT titles, and it now has its own film distribution arm. In the end, the bricks-and-mortar stores are the least of TLA's business, but they're beloved nonetheless by customers.
That's why October 7th will be a sad day—sort of. Though TLA will close, its longtime manager will open another video store—this one even quirkier—down the road in Ardmore. And if all goes as planned, the space will have an ice cream cafe and bookstore so patrons can hang out, research movies on their smartphones, and then pick out the ones they want.
Oct. 5th is the beginning of the three-day inventory sale. When that went down in Center City, it was utter madness, with lines stretching outside of the door. So get there early if you want your very own inexpensive copy of Wild Strawberries. We know you do.
· Art Alive In Ardmore: Film Shop Coming To Lancaster Ave. [Ardmore Patch]