'This store was here before Hollywood and Blockbuster, and it's still here'

Don Flinn plans to close Silver Screen Video at 24th and Agate and convert the building to a coffee shop. (SBG)

EUGENE, Ore. - The stock is a little disorganized.

Dust has collected on the DVD cases.

But it's still the neighborhood video store.

"It's just - you know, it's got that feel; it's a neat store," customer Heidi Zola says.

Silver Screen Video at the corner of Agate Street and 24th Avenue is an institution.

"This store was here before Hollywood and Blockbuster," owner Don Flinn says, "and it's still here after they are gone."

But not for long.

Flinn said it's time to close down the Eugene video shop that has hung on longer than any other.

"It's been time, the last few years," he said.

Flinn bought the building at 24th and Agate in 1999.

Then he got into the video business.

"I don't know, you know, I had a building. I liked this building," he said.

So Flinn bought Silver Screen and moved it from its former location.

He figured video rentals would be an uncomplicated business to run.

Flinn said he was able to hang on so long only because he owned the building.

"If I had to pay real rent, I would never make money at it," he said. "I can lease it out for pretty much anything and make more money than I can in the video business."

Silver Screen featured the usual line up, but he alos had many foreign titles and hard to find documentaries that appealed to his loyal clientele.

"It's part of the experience, going to a video store," Zola said. "You know, the last one in Eugene."

But the end of Silver Screen Video - sometime before November is over - is not the end for the building.

Flinn said the next coming attraction will be a cafe and coffee shop.

"That's what everybody in the neighborhood wants," he said. "I mean, the number one thing they don't want is student housing."

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