CLAWSON (WWJ) – It’s the end of an era for a video store in Clawson that catered to film buffs.

As WWJ’s Sandra McNeil reports, the lines Friday afternoon were long at Thomas Video, where the owner is selling the store’s inventory.

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The problem is the long lines here at Thomas Video are the most customers that co-owner Jim Olenski has had in quite a while.

“Business the last six years has been pretty horrible because of the internet and all the streaming and downloads, both legal and illegal,” he said.

Olenski has owned the store since 1977 and worked there before that . It’s a place with a whole aisle dedicated to science fiction and movies like The Little Rascals, Buster Keaton and Elvis films.

Word of the store’s closing is bringing out long time fans like Louis Kermid:

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“You know, this place is practically an institution …been really influential, at least, to me as a movie goer and as a fledgling filmmaker as well.”

Paul Manski of Troy says this was his go-to store for the hard to find movies.

“Really, anything that I want to watch, it would be here and you know, some of the foreign films , and the Japanese films,” said Manski.

While he’s disappointed that the store is closing Manski says he’ll “buy as many as I can and save em up to have to some to watch for quite a while.”

“We haven’t been able to pay the bills. That’s what counts … much less salaries … our salaries,” laments Olenski.

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He thinks it’ll take about two months to sell off the inventory and after that … “I’ll probably find a job somewhere.”