TV Eye Video Emporium closing on Lexington Avenue


TV Eye Video Emporium, a downtown video rental shop for the last five years or so, is closing later this year. Owner Marc McCloud said that in about a month, the store will close for about a week. When it reopens, the store’s inventory of 20,000 videos will be up for sale. McCloud says he’ll be out by the end of the year.

McCloud, who owns TV Eye with a business partner, also owns and operates Orbit DVD on Haywood Road. McCloud said that store is doing gangbusters. In fact, this year has been one of his best ever, he said. The downtown location, however, hasn’t been faring so well. That’s due in part to technological changes, but also big changes in the fabric of downtown itself, McCloud said.

“I think anything unique – really unique – is in danger of not being in downtown anymore,” McCloud said.

Much more on downtown development and the changes happening there. Meantime, support Marc in West Asheville and grab some videos when he puts ’em on sale at TV Eye.


TV Eye DVD closeout sale: Last four weeks November 20, 2012 - 1:09 pm

[…] TV Eye announced its closing in August, as owner Marc McCloud closed a profitable video store over concerns about doing business downtown. […]

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Eamon August 15, 2012 - 6:28 pm

“Many people have Netflix accounts and still rent from us once or twice (or seven times) a week. We have thousands of titles that they do not and we are cheap.”

That is no overstatement. Asheville is going to lose probably one of the most incredible archives of rare and hard-to-find films I’ve ever been lucky to find. I’m especially going to miss all of the weird-ass obscuro, exploitation and found video titles. Whenever I’ve been stung with the strange inspiration to check out things like Jon Mikl Thor’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare” or “1990: The Bronx Warriors,” it was mind-blowing, yet still unsurprising, to find them at TV Eye, waiting for me. Also, the documentary section alone is a valuable resource.

Well, it was nice having you while it lasted. Thank you! Wishing you the best in your endeavors!

bb August 15, 2012 - 4:05 pm

Sorry to hear about that. What’s going to happen to that kickass sign? That’s a work of art itself!

Ryan August 15, 2012 - 1:08 pm

Being a true local, as in I was born here, Downtown Asheville hasn’t been “local” for a long time. The change that has come into town over the last couple of years has not been for the better, however, over the last six or seven months things have been picking up. Two new breweries and the parts plant in the old Volvo plant are great for the area. We cannot depend on tourist dollars to maintain a good standard of living in the area. We do not need for more minimum wage service industry jobs, we have enough of those. Bring in more industry, or technology associated jobs. The tourists can stay home for all I care.

Eric August 15, 2012 - 4:14 pm

Do you have any idea how many people would lose their jobs if “all the tourists” stayed home?

Like it or not, Asheville is not an enticing home for big industry. Tourism is what we have, and to poo poo the one source of outside money is to wish 2/3rds of your local shops closed.

I also disagree that Downtown Asheville isn’t “local.” I’d like to hear that explained please. Easily 75% of downtown businesses are locally owned and operated and depend heavily on the foot traffic and dollars of those tourists.

I’m also sorry to see TV Eye close up shop – I’m among those who would walk down from work during my break and pick up a DVD or two. However, I’m not sure how it’s tied to being “less local.” Now the safety issue on North Lexington I could see being a detriment to the late-night video business…

Ryan August 17, 2012 - 10:25 am

And how long have you lived here? Have you watched the standard of living decrease in the area as the cost of living has increased and the wage rate stay the same as it was 20 years ago? Were you here 20 years ago?

Eric August 18, 2012 - 3:43 pm

Gosh, sorry. I’ve only been here 15 years. Do I not qualify by your standards?

I maintain that it’s extremely short-sighted to wish the tourists wouldn’t come. I don’t know what circles you are in, but 75% of the people I know would lose their jobs. Restaurant servers, artists, cooks, retail clerks… People who are happy to have the jobs that they do have in this economy.

ThePhan August 15, 2012 - 5:22 pm

Ever been to Charlotte, Atlanta, or Raleigh? You know, those cities with the kind of industry we all want here? There are THOUSANDS more restaurants and hotels in those cities than in Asheville.

Tourists have been coming here for 150 years. That’s not going to change.

ThePhan August 15, 2012 - 12:59 pm

I’m very sorry to see a business close, but I don’t see downtown Asheville changing much at all. If there were an influx of chain businesses downtown, or new types of business flooding the downtown area and competing for dollars, I’d see his point. But there aren’t, in either case. And I don’t remember a time in the last two decades when downtown wasn’t centered upon the tourist trade.

Orbit DVD August 15, 2012 - 12:50 pm

A lot of kind words today, so thank you everyone.

The decision to close was not purely an economic one. TV Eye always made money, and was doing fine this year, but looking at downtown’s future we decided it was time to end it on a high.

One factor that I want to address is safety. Many people have told me that they do not comfortable walking downtown after dark. Five years ago this wasn’t a problem for us and a large part of our business was after 10pm. While there has been no change at Orbit at night, TV Eye’s numbers have dropped. On Lexington there is pretty much zero police presence. While some welcome that, a regular beat patrol would be appreciated. Especially when the only growing business is bars and clubs.

People are baffled why on earth would someone rent a movie. I think we and Rosebud have done a great job differentiating ourselves from other options. When it comes down to it, people just like to shop and have face to face interactions. Many people have Netflix accounts and still rent from us once or twice (or seven times) a week. We have thousands of titles that they do not and we are cheap. Asheville has responded to that.

I hope our little town can prove me wrong on my dire predictions of downtown. Support what you like out there.

Jeremy August 15, 2012 - 12:02 pm

Very unfortunate news. It’s nice having TV Eye within walking distance of work. Thankfully Orbit is close to home.

FDR August 15, 2012 - 11:12 am

I’m sorry to hear a business is downsizing but I don’t think it has anything to do with Asheville changing. Change is good for everyone, so adapt or fail.

Why pay $2 plus gasoline to rent a movie I can get for free through my Roku Box. ( or streaming through Netflix. If it’s all about renting newer movies I can use a RedBox at either Ingles, Walgreens, or Walmart…

If Asheville had more housing for middle class income folks within a safe walking distance I think this business could survive. Example: Berkley, Ca.

I am happy to hear their other biz is doing well and that is where they need to focus. To many businesses expand to quickly and increase their overhead thus being their downfall.

White Lightnin' August 15, 2012 - 10:57 am

Man, love that store. Sorry to hear about this. -=JR=-

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