Reel Video Employees Have No Idea When Curtain Will Fall

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SF Weekly reported earlier this month that Reel Video, Berkeley's beloved, offbeat trove of a movie rental joint, was slated to close. The store's parent chain, Hollywood Video, filed for bankruptcy protection in February and has announced it will close all of its American stores; this includes 16 in Northern California.

However, just when Reel -- and its 100,000 movie titles -- will go kaput is not known. Not even to the folks working there -- who enjoy suspense in their movies, but not their lives.

The website created in the wake of the February bankruptcy declaration informs consumers which video stores are liquidating their stocks, and are imminently doomed. Reel is not on that list. But just how long it has left is a mystery.

"They haven't said much of anything except 'keep doing what you're doing,'" said one exasperated Reel manager. When asked if this made it difficult to plot his future employment he noted "That's what I said to them. But they just keep giving me the party line."

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