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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, October 14, 2010

Last American Video owner rents out his own movies

By Anne Hayden

GUILDERLAND — A small, independent video store opened its doors just as the big chains were closing theirs due to bankruptcy.

Last American Video opened in Star Plaza, on Route 20 in Guilderland, three months ago, just a few stores down from where Hollywood Video had once been, in 20 Mall.

“We knew there was still a market for people who wanted to physically come into a store to rent movies, instead of ordering Netflix or going to a Redbox,” said Machito Budhai, one of the owners of Last American Video. His friend Dom Constantino is also part-owner.

Constantino has movie and game-store experience, but Machito said he’s just a big movie buff. Before the store opened, he was a student at the University of Albany and worked in the security field.

“I’ve just always been a huge movie buff, ever since I was a kid. I’ve been building up my movie collection for years,” Machito said; a large percentage of movies available for rent in his shop are part of his private collection. Others were donated by friends and customers who wanted to offer support.

“We figured we’d be different than Hollywood Video, and diversify. We have games for rent, and every game system ever made. I believe, locally, we have the largest collection of television series. We also have comics,” said Machito.

He said the store is very interactive, and prides itself on customer service.

“People often call the store just to ask me questions. I have a lot of regulars that depend on me to pick their movies; I get to know them, and their preferences and tastes,” Machito said.

Kids also love the store, he said, because there are televisions hooked up to gaming systems, and they are allowed to play as many games as they want.

“Business is doing well, and has been slowly picking up,” said Machito. Memberships are free, and rentals are reasonably priced, he said. In addition to renting, Last American Video sells previously viewed movies.

“I love this,” Machito concluded. “It’s the coolest job in the world.”

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