GREENWICH VILLAGE — After nearly 30 years of playing Siskel and Ebert with Greenwich Village residents, the Greenwich Avenue movie rental shop World of Video will close at the end of April because of a rent increase and a decline in business, the store's owner said.
The lease at World of Video at 51 Greenwich Ave. between Sixth and Seventh avenues will end then, and Netflix and other movie-viewing services have taken their toll on the Village institution, owner Linda Samuels said.
"I used to have people come in two, three times a week, but now people have more options," she said. "We're the last man standing in the West Village."
Store employees said last summer that their personal customer service couldn't be matched by any online movie recommendation generator.
Village resident and actor David Pittu, a World of Video customer for two decades, said he will miss picking up selections from the shop's 30,000-title collection, sometimes on a daily basis.
"This place has been amazing for when you want to browse titles, rather than just find what you're looking for," he said.
World of Video is planning a going-away "celebration" in mid-April, Samuels said.
"We want to thank our customers for their loyalty," she said. "Some of them have been with us since the beginning."
World of Video prides itself on its collection of films that can't be found anywhere else, including some they have on video that never made it onto DVD, Samuels said.
The shop's DVDs are on sale for as low as $5 each. Titles in the popular Criterion Collection are selling for $18 each.
A listing for the property by real estate firm Bernard-Charles, Inc. said the space is available for "high-end boutique use only." A company representative declined to comment on the rental.