Janice Weaver spends her days surrounded by movie stars and storytellers. As the owner and operator of Jimâs Video in Kettle Falls, the communityâs last independent video store, itâs not a serious stretch to imagine Weaver as a modern-day keeper of tales in a time when supposed technological convenience freÂŹquently chips away at human interaction by cutting out âthe middle man.â
Though Weaverâs self-perception isnât nearly as lofty, she enjoys what she does---after all, sheâs been doing it for almost 30 years.
âIt just kind of turned into my life,â Weaver says of the video store, named after her late husband, Jim, who passed away almost three years ago.
A point to prove
âIt was a point to prove. I came right out of high school and started working; I didnât go on to get a higher educaÂŹtion. I had to prove to myself I could do this.â
And done it she has, since Jim and his son, Howard, bought the building from âClemâ Clemons back in 1984. Until that point, it had been the Keller Hotel.
At the time the Video Home System (VHS) analog videotapes were becoming more and more popular after preÂŹmiering in the 1970âs and beating out its competitor, Betamax.
Weaver, who graduated from Kettle Falls High School in 1966, was working for Ronnie Rausch, who owned the 7-Up distributing company in the area as the bookkeeper when her husband and stepson created Jimâs Video.
âIt started out that he (Jim) and Howard were supposed to manage it, but that lasted all of two minutes,â Weaver says good-naturedly.
It wasnât long before Weaver was manning the store full-time. Sight and Sound of Deer Park was the storeâs original video rental distributor, followed by Comtron, then Ingram Entertainment, Inc. where Weaver acquires her rentals to this day, and a wide variety at that.
Customers can rent popular titles from numerous genres, from the Academy Award winning Steven Spielberg film Lincoln, to the action-packed Iron Man series, to classics like Breakfast at Tiffanyâs. Multiple seasons of popular television shows like HomeÂŹland, True Blood and more are also available, along with game rentals for Xbox 360 and Play Station3.
So how has Jimâs Video remained viable and relevant in an entertainment industry that is in constant flux with yet more advances in technology, especially online and mailing services like Netflix and do-it-yourself selections from Red Box?
*Read the full story in this week's Statesman Examiner and see what Weaver's "movie picks" are!