Whenever I had a new boyfriend, putting his name on my Video Americain card ("The Last Picture Store," Feature, March 12) meant for sure that it was official. Until then, we had no commitment, but putting our names on each other's card was our way-and most everyone else I knew, since we all frequented the store-of saying we were together. In fact, if my friend told me she was dating someone, I would ask if she put his name on her Video Americain card as a way of knowing how serious they were. Rings are so overrated.

Jane Kelly


Now that Video Americain has closed [Note: The store actually extended its sale through March 21], I feel there will be a gaping hole in my heart. This place was the place to rent your movies from. I remember nursing two root canals, three pulled teeth, four sprained ankles, and one broken heart watching Video Americain rentals!

Yes, there was many a Weekend I would watch a good movie with my Godfather. And there was one time I went North by Northwest calling out "O Brother, Where Art Thou?," only to find out he went North to Alaska with The Madwoman of Chaillot. It took me Seven Days in May to find this out. And that was before the Earthquake also known as Ten Days that Shook the World. I was in the Twilight Zone then. But I was rescued by two Goodfellas (they were some real [Stand Up Guys]) who said, "Let's go to Our Town," which was Pleasantville. On the way, we were Kidnapped and taken to Cuba, where we had a Naked Lunch of Wild Strawberries and Chocolat. There, we were On the Beach watching the world go by. As we ate lunch, we wondered what we should do as Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Mr. Blanding Builds His Dream House, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, and Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation. I guess You Never Can Tell what you would do in a situation like this.

We thought we were Lost. However, we were rescued in 24 Hours by some Desperate Housewives in a Lifeboat. We sailed All Through the Night and arrived at Casablanca at High Noon. We docked our boat On the Waterfront and made The Way to The Big Store to buy supplies before spending A Day at the Races and A Night at the Opera. Returning to the hotel, we ate Duck Soup. In the morning, we boarded an Airplane!, which took us to Manhattan.

And that was yesterday. Today I was in a Frenzy; I had Breakfast at Tiffany's before boarding the Mystery Train to Nashville. What a Night on Earth.

Alan Barysh



When the Charles Village Video Americain closed, I stood in line the first day of the clearance sale, hoping to get used copies of my favorite DVDs at a bargain. My experience was bizarre at best. Almost none of the discs were priced, and customers had to wait in a long line with their many purchases while co-founder Barry Solan looked up each DVD on Amazon.com to determine how much he could get for each one. With few exceptions, all of them ended up grossly overpriced, considering they had been previously viewed many times.

While this was going on, Solan's wife, Annie, was scrambling to assist as best as she could, but when she saw that some DVD sets were being purchased individually, she freaked out and stopped everything to rubber band individual discs together, leaving customers to wait even longer.

I loved Video Americain and was heartbroken to see them go, but the chaos and total disorganization of the clearance sale was a sad and upsetting way to see the story end. RIP, VA.

Jack Walter


Screen Shot

While not exactly a struggling business ("

" Arts and Minds, March 11), the beleaguered Parkway Theatre, currently suffering from fuzzy vision and apathetic funding, would do well to have the likes of Oprah step in and save it from an inexorable spiral into lowball mediocrity.

John Grant


Empty Box

I've been a fan of

City Paper

since the beginning. Wish I still had the first issue. I even paid for it during the brief time that you charged in the early '80s! I've mourned the loss of Memorial Stadium, WHFS, and

The Sun

in all their former glory, and the loss of many, many record stores. The one constant was


. I hoped against hope that



would stay the same. However, it isn't a good sign that the box where I have picked up the paper for many years-at Hopkins Place and Lombard Street-is empty for the first time that I can remember.

Jerry Crane


Correction : Because of errors classifying the location of previous homicides, last week's Murder Ink (Mobtown Beat, March 12) misstated the number of murders in the Berea neighborhood during 2013. There were four, not two.