TAMPA, Fla – It’s an unlikely modern business with an unlikely owner.
Shelby McIntyre opened a video store on November 15 in the year 2021.
âYeah, I know it’s 2021, not 1981,â McIntyre said with a laugh. âMy family and friends have been asking me for this for weeks. They think I’m crazy to open a video store when everyone has switched to streaming.
Plus, McIntyre is legally blind. He needs to magnify his computer screen to 400% during inventory and use a digital magnifier to read DVD cases.
As for watching movies, “they’re blurry, but that’s okay,” he said. âI’ve seen almost everything here already.
Viper Video sells movies of all genres, but focuses on classic fantasy, horror, and science fiction. It contains original VHS tapes, but McIntyre expects customers to come primarily for re-releases of classics via 4K Blu-ray box sets, some of which include deleted scenes, director’s commentary, and a book detailing the production.
The store offers such sets for the originals “Dune”, “The Shining”, “Children of the Corn” and “He Came from the Swamp”.
Viper Video is also compatible with independent films. Local filmmakers can drop off DVDs and make a deal with McIntyre.
âLet’s be honest, this isn’t the type of store for the guy who watches ‘Fast & Furious’,â McIntyre said. âIt’s a place for die-hard collectors who still want a movie they can hold, pick up and display. They want beautifully designed classic boxes restored in 4K with added features.
McIntyre thinks Viper Video is Tampa’s only real video store, except for those that focus on adult films. Its business model has already worked in the same place.
For McIntyre, the store keeps him in the movie industry he loves.
He is an independent film producer whose credits include the documentary “Strip Club King: The Story of Joe Redner”. He was also a special effects makeup artist specializing in horror films.
Seven years ago, she was diagnosed with keratoconus, an eye disease that thins the cornea. It does not cause total blindness, but the vision can become so impaired that the person is legally blind. There are treatments, but McIntyre said none have worked.
The vision is “completely blurry” in his right eye, he said, and the left eye “is getting there too.” At some point, I will need a full cornea transplant. Hope this does.
Her first customer, Kyle Brady, walked around in seconds after the store officially opened at 11 a.m.
âStreaming is not the same as owning a physical copy,â Brady said. âI am a collector. Thank goodness this place opened.
Brady walked past a shelf with box sets from TV series – “Magnum PI”, “Beavis and Butt-Head”, “Aqua Teen Hunger Force”.
â’Frankenhooker’ is a classic,â he said.
Released in 1990, the film is a horror comedy about a mad scientist who creates a super crack that makes users explode. He then gives it to prostitutes so he can use their body parts to rebuild his dead girlfriend.
âThat’s why we need this place,â McIntyre said. âIt’s not just a store. It’s a place to go out and talk about movies.
He then pulled a “Frankenhooker” DVD from the shelf without using his digital magnifier.
“I found it easily,” he said, rubbing his eyes. âYou will never hear me feel sorry for myself. I have the will. I’ll find a way. “