This Man Built an ’80s Video Store in His Basement, Complete with a Kids’ Corner

published Jun 23, 2023
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Long before there were video rental stores like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video — not to mention streaming services like Netflix and Hulu — mom-and-pop video stores reigned supreme, serving as a destination for home media and a staple for many families’ weekend nights. If you’re missing the era of physical media, one film-lover’s basement creation will bring back the nostalgia, and you’re going to want to stop by to rent one of your favorites from him.

TikTok user Anthony Sant’Anselmo (@mondovideo) detailed the process of transforming every room in his basement into a throwback video store, aptly named after the 1979 cult-classic film Mr. Mike’s Mondo Video

The Georgia resident turned the lower part of his home into a themed media space over the span of five years, and he says it’s taken him “thousands of hours” to create every inch of the space. As if his attention to detail wasn’t impressive enough, the video store has separate sections for horror, sports, children, and, yes, an adults-only area in the back to completely replicate the authentic video rental experience.

Back in 2021, Sant’Anselmo told Lunchmeat about the painstaking process, revealing that it was “probably the hardest thing [he has] ever consistently, physically done — and [he] used to work for a steam-cleaning/fire and water damage restoration company.” In a YouTube video tour, he shared that he started the project in 2018 and thought he was done in 2020. But when the pandemic hit and he had extra time at home, Sant’Anselmo added more rooms and created an elaborate home theater space to watch his favorite films.

He thrifted a lot of the store’s items, transforming them where needed to give them vintage appeal. Ambient neon lighting, checkerboard flooring, a home gym featuring his sports movies, and rotating “movies of the month” add to its nostalgic charm. Sant’Anselmo’s collection is vast, and it’s clear that his love of movies fueled the five-year project, which he undertook entirely by himself.

And this isn’t the first time that someone’s revamped their empty space into a video rental store. A husband-wife duo transformed their basement into a similar space like Sant’Anselmo, and a movie-lover upgraded his Free Little Library into a Blockbuster-themed library of DVDs. 

There’s no word on whether Sant’Anselmo will invite guests (or strangers) in to watch a flick or two, but perhaps this will inspire you to visit Movie Madness Video, located in Portland, Oregon.