It Wasn’t Blockbuster: Do You Remember Video to Rol?
If you're old enough to have programmed a VCR, then read on.
Back in the glory days of VHS tapes, there were no shortage of rental stores in the Mohawk Valley. Because they were national, Blockbuster usually gets shown the most love. There was the hit Netflix documentary The Last Blockbuster in 2020, and there's plenty of YouTube content dedicated to Blockbuster nostalgia.
But there were other rental chains, too. Where's the love for the Mohawk Valley's Video to Rol?
Let me just say this: I would've LOVED to fill this story with retro pictures of Video to Rol. Only there are none. Seriously, NONE.
I'm serious, I scoured the internet for DAYS looking for ANY photographic evidence that this place existed. This is the only thing I've found:
Two confirmed addresses in Utica was all I could find. But there were others. In private Facebook groups relating to CNY nostalgia, many people said there were 3 locations in Rome as well. How is it possible that a store with more than 3 locations left behind such a small, practically nonexistent footprint? It's truly a mystery.
The lack of evidence is maddening. You'd think there'd be... SOMETHING. I couldn't find a picture of a Video to Rol storefront or a logo ANYWHERE. Even using the Internet Archive "Wayback Machine" produced zero results. All I could find were people with corroborating stories of where the physical stores were located.
Some claim that Video to Rol had an "adult section," but as I was just a youngster seeking to to rent old WWF tapes, I cannot speak to the veracity of this.
If you have any photographic proof that Video to Rol existed, we'd love to see it!