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    Bit to Do

    One of Louisville's coolest landmarks Wild and Woolly closes its doors
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    Louisville's coolest creatures are going extinct. Aside from the move-in of corporate chains like "Mellow Mushroom" and "Urban Outfitters," Louisville's hippest neighborhood known as "The Highlands" is taking another hit to being the coolest part of town. I don't mean the overload of pizza places. Long time staple and favorite local business Wild and Woolly Video is closing its doors.

    This heartbreaking news brings back a flood of memories for me. The store may never know the role it played in my own development of adulthood. I became aware of the store, because a film class suggested a film that was hard to find. Someone told me of this place in the Highlands that "had weird and hard to find films."
    They had the film I was looking for, and I became a regular customer when I moved to the Highlands years later.  It was a treat to be able to head out and walk to the video store with my son on a nice summer's eve. We'd arrive and my son would head straight for the train table while I headed for the "independent film" section to find strange and bizarre things far outside my conservative upbringing. The films were thought provoking, artistic or just plain bizarre at times. It was a film from Wild and Woolly that I was watching when a possum invaded my apartment once, and, protective mother that I am, I called 911; I ended up with an apartment full of mace and an unfinished movie thanks to the "John Wayne" that showed up, but that's another story. My point is Wild and Woolly has been there for me through some TIMES.

    One of my favorite things about the store is their personal touch. Stickers that are on the video cases that say "Matt recommends this." or "Chris likes this." This led to quite a chain of pranks at one point. I was looking for something interesting and different. I was really into exploring new and different spiritual themes at the time. I saw a film with a monk on it called "The Sound of One Hand Clapping." It was only $1 to rent and it had recommend stickers on it, so I figured why not. I popped it in while cleaning my house and came to a complete screeching halt. On the screen before me was a monk suddenly surrounded by ninjas. He bows and throws his robe over his shoulder before proceeding to fight off the ninjas with the "weapon" under his robe.  Once I got over the initial shock ( I was still pretty young,  naive, and sheltered at the time), I found it absolutely hilarious to tell absolutely everyone I could to go and check it out. It was the "best movie ever." Pranks like that would not have been possible without the humble little video store.

    In addition to that, owner Todd Brashear was kind enough to sponsor and support my own foray into filmmaking when we had a large event centered around a zombie theme. It meant a lot to me.  I know he has supported other local filmmaking projects and the store rents local film makers' videos to help them get their art out there. 

    Wild and Woolly's last day of business will be March 23, 2015 (Their 18th anniversary.). They'll be open for business as usual until then and still have new movies coming in. They will be selling stock as usual, and there is no grand liquidation planned. They are closing for multiple reasons, including changing technology. Many video stores went out of business when Redbox video rentals began,  but Wild and Woolly adapted by changing their prices. It is comparable, especially considering you get personal service, people to talk film with, a local spot to find out about indie happenings. Another reason for closing is that Brashear is ready to move on and will be pursuing a new interest as a Pilates instructor. The best thing you can do to support them is continue renting and continue buying until March.

    "It'd be good to see everyone," said manager Chris Wunderlich. "We're hoping mostly to go out on a good note and have everyone remember Wild and Woolly as the awesome place it is."

    Leave your messages, stories and memories for the Wild and Woolly crew in the comments, and please, go in and send them out with a great hurrah. You can see their official announcement here.

    Jessica Lynn's picture

    About Jessica Lynn

    Jessica Lynn has been writing for since fall of 2010 and has also been published in LEO, Velocity, Voice-Tribune and others after serving as Editor in Chief of The JCC student newspaper, The Quadrangle. She has also served as columnist or contributing writer to an array of online publications.

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