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Sketched Nov. 12, 2014

Gabi_1114_Reckless_03This just in: Reckless Video, an independently owned video store in Seattle’s Maple Leaf neighborhood, is NOT closing!

That’s tongue-in-cheek, of course, but you get the point. In the rapidly changing landscape of local retail, it’s worth highlighting unique businesses facing tough economic realities.

Reckless Video, one of a handful of video-rental stores remaining in Seattle, opened in a Roosevelt Way Northeast strip mall on Thanksgiving Day of 1991 and has occupied a cute little house nearby since 2001.

The charm of the cottage is not lost when you step inside. Movie reels and signs with cinematic names lured me into five cozy rooms with a collection of DVDs owner Mike Kelley estimates is more than 20,000. I lingered at the foreign-film section, where I found no fewer than 19 movies by my favorite Spanish director, Pedro Almodóvar. That interactive experience of browsing through the shelves is one of the reasons why some people still come to video stores.

Kelley hopes that doesn’t change so Reckless Video can stay open for at least 10 more years. “People still have a choice not to shop on the Internet and support neighborhood businesses,” he said.