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The holdouts: Inside SF’s sole remaining video rental store

San Francisco’s last full-service video rental store, Video Wave, sits on a bustling block of 24th St. in Noe Valley. Its unassuming yellow facade belies the magic it holds.

But step in and you’ll find, amongst the stacks of DVDs and VHS tapes piled high, the charm of a San Francisco business that’s been around since 1983.

Its owner Colin Hutton offers personalized film recommendations, bringing a level of customer service and a personal touch that the streaming services’ algorithms could never dream of delivering. His collection of 27,000 films ranges from Westerns to romance flicks to new releases.

“I’ve been able to stay around and I probably shouldn’t have been,” said Hutton. “It’s really the community and their support that are why I’m still here."

This story is the first in a new video series from The Standard called “The Holdouts.” In it, we profile long-standing local businesses, institutions and people that have withstood the test of time. Have ideas for people or places that would fit this series? Shoot us an email at

Mike Kuba can be reached at

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