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Remember when Le Video almost shuttered its doors for good? Store owner Catherine Tchen needed a miracle to avoid the inevitable in this Netflix/live-streaming era. Tchen and the store's staff and supporters worked tirelessly to preserve the 34-year-old SF institution that offers a video selection beyond the mainstream. "Because we import movies and buy from collectors, we have stuff that's not on Amazon or Netflix, and some things that you can't even find on Torrent," Tchen tells SF Weekly.
That may be why Le Video's Indiegogo campaign was so successful, raising over $60,000, (173 percent beyond the goal amount). But even that wasn't enough to keep the business going as it was. Enter Green Apple Books, which help saved the shop by renting out the ground floor while Le Video moved upstairs. Le Video is also reinventing itself into a digital database model—customers will be able to place orders online and at the store's kiosks for pick-up at the counter.
All of these efforts that effectively saved Le Video earned the store recognition as SF Weekly's "Best Local Business Comeback." But that's not to say that there aren't some bittersweet feelings on Facebook about changes like the removal of Le Video's marquee.
Green Apple Books on the Park's Facebook is more upbeat as a store that's incoming and expanding, rather than one that's reinventing and downsizing. The bookshelves are filling up, and the staff tells followers that this location will initially be heavy on the new books but will adjust to meet local demand. Both stores will open/re-open this Friday, August 1—an opportune time to pick out a new book and obscure film and indulge yourself throughout the weekend.
· Best Local Business Comeback: Le Video [SF Weekly]
· Green Apple Books Swoops in to Save Le Video [Racked SF]
· Green Apple Books Recommends Beach Reads for 2014 [Racked SF]