Gresham's last movie rental shop to close
Justin Venetucci's eyes light up when he talks about movies.
He loves all sorts of flicks, from action to comedy to romance. He could spend hours recounting his favorite films from seven decades of watching. As a seven year old he would make his way to the local theater to catch a double feature for only 35 cents.
Naturally, when a brand-new technology debuted, the video home systems, an idea sparked for a business venture.
"I've always been a big movie fan, so I thought it would make for a great business," Venetucci said.
He was right, opening a series of Just In video stores across the region, riding the lightning that was VHS and DVD rentals. He first opened his doors in 1985 in Milwaukie, followed by branches in Gresham, Portland, Sandy and Estacada. The shops were about reasonable rates for rentals, an approach that remained in Gresham for nearly four decades. It was the perfect blending of passion and a way to make a living for Venetucci.
But now things are coming to an unexpected end. The Gresham location, 1738 E. Powell Boulevard, lost the lease because of a pending sale of the building. After 37 years, Gresham's Just In Rental is closing at the end of the month with a massive liquidation sale.
"I wasn't expecting this," Venetucci said. "So now we are having a big sale to move the inventory."
There are still more than 5,000 DVDs, as well as a few Blue-rays and VHS tapes, that need to be sold, including action, war, romance, classics, family, animated, horror, comedy, western, science fiction, suspense and more.
"This is a chance to get a physical copy of a movie you have always wanted to see, or to add to your collection," Venetucci said. "An opportunity to take advantage of insane prices."
Movies are priced at $1-5, while television series are $5-10. Blue-rays are $2, and a collection of VHS tapes are 25 cents each.
And despite an early rush of sales, that snapped up the newest inventory when the closure was first announced, there are still plenty of great films to buy. On the shelves are classics like Chinatown, Chariots of Fire, A Star is Born, Lawrence of Arabia, Midnight Cowboys, and Dr. Zhivago; the Bourne movies, Terminator and Rocky sequels; the Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Dark Knight films; animated movies like Aladdin, Cars, The Bee Movie, Ice Age, and The Lion King; science fiction films like Independence Day, Star Trek series, and Arrival; comedies like Lost in Translation, Life of Brian, Kicking and Screaming, Easy A, The Big Chill, and the National Lampoon films; and so much more.
"You never know what little film you pick up that will surprise you and become one of your favorites," Venetucci said.
Gresham's Just In Video was the final straggler in East Multnomah County from the heyday of movie rentals. The shop served as a place for nostalgic trips to seek the latest flick to watch. Now the Estacada Just In Video, 381 Broadway St., is the last remaining location.
"Thank you to all the customers who have come in through the years," Venetucci said. "People who moved away and came back; people who come in with kids who were kids themselves when we first opened; people who came in every week — I want to thank you all for the support."
Just In Video
1738 E. Powell Boulevard
Mon.-Fri. 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Sat.-Sun. noon to 7 p.m.
Last day Wednesday, Aug. 31
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