Alphabet Video should make Blockbuster hang its head in shame. Because its smaller, more expensive, but infinitely superior to the chain. It has a better selection, and the shop actually has character. You can just go in there to feel like you're in a place with soul.
The guys who work there really know their stuff. Their film-knowledge ranges from the really godawful (everyone needs a bad film to watch now and then to cool down) to the brilliant and to the obscure. They also have a deal that if you rent a certain amount of films you get a tub of Ben & Jerry's! I mean, it's the ultimate chilled evening combination.
Their collections are sorted by genre, but also by actor or director. And, though it looks like it might be impossible to find anything in there, you'll stumble upon some really great stuff by chance.
Great video shop with more foreign, arty titles than anywhere else. Knowledgeable staff top trumph any of Blockbuster's as the have a genuine interest in what they're trying to recommend to you.
Even though this is nothing to do with videos I love the giant fish that rubs it's head on the owner's finger (obviously through the glass) which makes the whole thing look like a video shop from an art house film, especially with the little wooden staircase up to the small upper level - I've never been up but I'd like to think it's porn! (I don't think it is)
First impressions? Wow. Thats a hell of a lot of dvd's.
And really, it is. There must be thousands of films crammed into the two floors of this unbelievable store - everything from classic films to arty flicks, and foreign to the blockbuster.
Talking of Blockbuster - once you have been to Alphabet Video, you wont want to go back. The staff actually give a crap about film, and more importantly - about you. They are some of the nicest, friendliest staff ever. If you want something ask them - they will know where it is, and get it for you in a flash. If you arent looking for anything in particular, dont worry - they will always lend a helping hand in what to choose for your night in!
Going on the fairly safe assumption that there's not one in Aberdeen or Dundee, Alphabet Video is to my knowledge the only arthouse video rental store in Scotland. With proper filmy types behind the counter, an air of smugness and shelves of graphically violent, borderline pornographic cinema that gets called arty purely because it's French, the store fits the bill perfectly for it's niche.
Given that a high percentage of the films available here aren't the type you'll ever see in the "3 for £10" shelves at HMV, I fully expect Alphabet to outlast Blockbuster, a company currently suffering a long, slow, excruciating end.
I adore this place and I only wish there were more video shops like it around Scotland. Unlike Blockbuster and Global Video this place isn't going to go out of business anytime soon as in addition to offering mainstream movies they also offer arthouse films and world cinema that you can't buy in ASDA for £2. What's the point in renting a movie from Blockbuster for £3 when you can buy it for cheaper, it doesn't make sense to me. Nor does it make sense why Alphabet Video seems to be a one off as I've certainly never seen another one in Edinburgh.
When I lived in Germany I noticed that they have lots of these style video stores and when I came back to Scotland it's always been in the back of my mind to open up a similar shop and who knows, maybe one day I'll make a trip to Business Gateway and sort something out.
Alphabet Video is awesome and films are organised by actors so if you have a favourite star then you can see if there's any films here that you haven't seen before. They also organise films by genre so if you're into musicals, for example, you can have a browse and see if there's anything that tickles your fancy.
They have a great offer of any 3 DVD's plus a large tub of Ben 'n' Jerrys for £10 - that's a lazy weekend right there for you. Awesome.
Who still has a video player??
I do, that's who!!
It's so refreshing to see a place that sells videos as well as DVDs, so retro!!
The price is good and the selection is vast, what more do you want?!
The staff are lovely too, definitely note-worthy and lovely.
For those of us that like to think we know our A-Z when talking about films, there's Alphabet.
categorized by director, alphabetically, by country, by release date - its the sort of place you can go into not knowing what you want to watch and come out with three dvds wondering why on earth you've never seen them in your supposedly fulfilled lifetime.
With titles by anyone from Bergmann through Minghelli and Tarantino to Truffault and Renoir, if i'm down that end of town i go to Alphabet without a doubt.
They also generally have a few decent films for sale at fairly cheap prices, know their stuff and are genuinely interested and interesting. Oh the benefits of not going to a big cooperative...
Without a doubt Alphabet is the coolest video shop I have ever been in. Somehow this tiny shop has managed to squeeze in two floors of DVDs and videos scaling from floor to ceiling. Depending on what takes your fancy you could rent something from the world cinema, 1950s, crime, cartoon or Hollywood Blockbuster sections. If they don't have what you're looking for on DVD then they're only too happy to lend you a video player with scart leads etc at no extra charge. The owner of the shop (I call him Tall Face McLovely in my head) beams with pride about Alphabet and he is incredibly willing to spend the time with every customer recommending films he thinks they might enjoy. A great local shop.
For such a small place, they could put HMV out of business!
The best thing about Alphabet video is that everything in the store is quality. I don't mean the condition of the product, i mean the movies themselves. You're going to be hard pressed to find a bad movie on the shelf's.
The man behind the counter was great, I picked up Oldboy here and came away with Thirst on his recommendation. You won't find that service anywhere else.
From Al Pacino to Zeferelli, this is place for all those movie buffs out there. This is what a video shop should be like, stocking the best movies ever made, in alphabetical order, by director or genre- you can pretty much find anything you can think of in under a minute. They do decent deals on the older films and also stock the new releases if you feel like seeing a good old no-brainer, in fact the only reason they don't have every movie ever made is because it is a tad small, and just can't fit them all. Get yourself a membership, turn your back on all the big chains and never look back.
Back before the internet made everything more convenient, when you wanted an obscure, indie or weird film you'd visit alphabet video. Alphabet video is near the meadows end of Marchmont Road and still an awesome source for all your film needs. The inside of the store is plastered with cut out pictures of all your favourite movie characters, the staff have extensive film knowledge and are friendly. They have a website you can check out to see if they have that obscure cult film you've been searching for and another store at the foot of Broughton street. If you love films, you'll love alphabet.
Visiting Alphabet Video is an experience in itself - the dvds are packed in downstairs, with movie magazine cut-outs plastering the walls above the shelves right up to the ceiling. They do all sorts of movies - from new popular stuff all the way through to silent movies from the twenties! Even the organisation is interesting - some are in genre, others under director. My favourite thing about Alphabet, though, is the balcony level, which is reached by a rickety little staircase, where the videos are kept. Yup, that's right, old VHS! This makes me happy. I think they're still organising the videos, as some are categorised, while others are piled haphazardly on the floor - a real little treasure trove for anyone with a bit of time on their hands! The guys who work there know their stuff, which is great, and the music is always good in an alternative sort of way. My friend also really liked their giant fish.
Oh Alphabet video- where would I be without you? It seems to me, that Edinburgh does not have a plethora of independent video stores- or ones that carry esoteric titles. Thank heavens for Alphabet. They love film. You can tell. In case it's not blatant by the amount of titles stocked (or the categorization method- my favourite for videos- listed by director) you could also tell by the fact that they wallpapered the place with film stills and glossies of actors. This is the place to go if you're jonesing for an old Bergman- or if you want to see exactly what happened in minute detail to Laura Palmer. If you're like me, and you get obsessed with directors and want to go through every last thing they've done, you'll be hard-pressed be able to do this in Edinburgh without visiting Alphabet. They even have Antonioni's Zabriskie Point! Stellar! There is a rather ample international section too which goes beyond the one rack at Blockbuster. And reasonable rates, I find, though with the economics of supply and demand they could easily jack them up and that'd be that. Thank goodness they don't. They want to spread their love of film to me and you. Good on them. FIVE STARS.
I am in love with this video store!!! They have all the cult movies I have seen since I was a little girl! The list is endless. We stay quite far away from it, but it is worth the drive just for the collection. I love how it isn't part of one of these global corporates. Indie stores rule! Woooo!
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