Video rental store both retro and popular

Kevin Cole is the owner of Cap City Video Lounge, Tallahassee’s only video rental store. Photo by Chloe Moody

One local small business provides a variety of films and brings back memories to those who grew up with Blockbuster stores, DVDs and VHS tapes.

Cap City Video Lounge, located in Railroad Square Art Park, is the only video rental store left in Tallahassee. It also has a one-screen movie theater. With options ranging from comedy to horror and sci-fi, there is something available for every customer.

Owner Kevin Cole says his business is the place for people to feel connected to positive experiences from the past.

We’re kind of a cultural hub,” Cole said. “Before COVID-19, we would have a lot of live performances. We’d have burlesque every first Friday, along with live comedy shows and local filmmaker meetings. We’d also show movies just about every night. All of our movies are available for rent. People can take them home and bring them back after three days. It’s kind of a nostalgic trip.”

Cap City Video Lounge has been open since December 2016. It was previously located off of Appleyard Drive before moving to its current location in Railroad Square in April 2016.

Cole’s inspiration for creating his business stems from his love of video stores and going to the movies.

“It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do,” Cole said. “Growing up, one of the things I looked forward to every week was going to the video store or movies on Friday night. I worked in movie theaters growing up and at Video 21, Tallahassee’s last video rental store. It was always kind of a dream to be able to share movies with other people, hang out and talk movies all the time, so that’s exactly what I did.”

Andrew Maxwell has been a customer at Cap City Video Lounge for a couple of years. He says the store has a lot of options that are rarely found in other stores.

“Part of it’s a nostalgia thing,” Maxwell said. “Video stores have always been a fun place for me. I’m a sucker for covers and things like that, so having something really nice or appealing can sometimes grab me. The other thing I like about this particular shop is they have a lot of stuff that is oftentimes very difficult to find. It’s one that if you are a fan of sometimes the more esoteric things out there, then this is a fantastic place to find them.”

Jessi Grace has also been a customer at Cap City Video Lounge for a few years. She’s a fan of the selection of movies the store offers and the events they’ve hosted prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I kind of like the range of movies,” Grace said. “It’s also a good spot to catch up on movies I would have seen when I was younger that I just wasn’t exposed to. Kevin’s cool, and they do the drive-in shows. I came to the comedy shows when they had them here. It just has a fun and interesting selection of movies.”