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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

Ray Bradbury at Rocket Video

Legendary Sci-Fi and Fantasy author Ray Bradbury will be discussing his career and signing DVDs this Friday, January 26th at 7:00pm at the renowned Rocket Video on La Brea in Hollywood!

In this modern age that is well upon us, you may not have the occasion to venture out to your local video store as much as you may have in the past. Why should you, when the latest downloads are available via your computer and services such as Netflix offer pre-selected DVDs sent right to your home? In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if in the coming years video rental stores that were once as prolific as Starbucks and Gap stores cease to exist all together.

This is too bad, because there’s really nothing like a good video store. I’m not talking about the Blockbuster or the Hollywood Video chains. I mean the mom and pop places that offer more than just the latest movies to rent. I’m talking about the ones that offer personal service from people who actually enjoy their jobs. I mean the kind of place that is filled with the sights, sounds, and smell of movie geeks who live for the opportunity to recommend a lost or little-known gem to the eager eyes of a fellow cinephile. I guess I mean a place like Rocket Video.

Rocket Video is a wonderful venue for everything you could possibly want from a video store and then some. Along with a great selection of films from the current to the classic to the cult to the adult (of course), Rocket offers both a well-informed staff that likes to answer your questions and a regular lineup of special events. These special events often feature in-person appearances by various artists who have years, if not decades, of experience within the entertainment industry.

This week you’ll have the opportunity to meet esteemed author and science fiction god, Ray Bradbury at this, my favorite local video store located on La Brea at Melrose. With over 60 screen credits to his name (not including individual episodes for TV series) and more than 50 years in the business, Bradbury is bound to be very lively and thoroughly entertaining as he talks about his vast career. His credits reach as far back as Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Twilight Zone. He’s also responsible for the groundbreaking novels “Fahrenheit 451” and “The Illustrated Man”. In 1980, he gave us “The Martian Chronicles”. I personally remember as a teenager being kept awake many a night pondering the possibilities of his riveting short stories. But if you’re going to come, come early. Space is limited and Rocket Video’s special events have become more and more popular.

I was present last November when Rocket Video was host to an evening with Peter Falk. Mr. Falk was warmly meet by a filled to capacity crowd who sat (mostly figuratively) at the edge of their seats as the beloved character actor reminisced about his long career. As spirited and vivacious as ever, the veteran entertainer spoke fondly of his most famous incarnation, the plain and simple working cop known by the single moniker of Columbo. Everybody present was engrossed as Mr. Falk drifted in and out of topic, much like a favorite uncle surrounded by a multitude of family members eagerly anticipating every word, coherent or otherwise, as the wise patriarch relives memories enriched with the grace of time and sentiment. Afterwards, Mr. Falk graciously signed books and DVDs for the many fans that came to see him and who formed a long line that literally spanned the store and stretched out into the parking lot. Time being limited, it’s no doubt that some individuals had to be turned away empty handed.

Don’t underestimate the popularity of this special appearance either. Ray Bradbury is the definition of a living legend, and is arguably the greatest mind in science fiction, an actual contemporary of the late Isaac Asimov! It is rare indeed to have such a man in our presence, let alone the opportunity to shake his hand. So, go down to Rocket Video this Friday the 26th and see for yourself what a part of history looks like. Sadly, Bradbury may not be giving too many more personal appearances, but you can be sure that Rocket Video will be wrangling one noted personality after another for as long as their doors stay open. And it’s quiet possibly the same mom and pop charm of an independent shop that appeals to you and me that lures the big names in to greet their fans in a warm and personable venue. Here’s to mom and pop!

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