Way back in 1981, cordless phones were the size of bowling pins, an IBM personal computer cost about $5,000, and VCRs were considered a luxury item. But Steven R. Freeman saw the huge potential for video rentals and maxed out all his credit cards to start TapeLenders with a library of just 50 BETA video tapes. Two years later, VHS became the dominant format and nobody wanted BETA. So in a really smart move, the entire inventory was sold and reinvested in gay porn titles.
The rest, as they say, is a happy ending.
Today, TapeLenders is still going strong and one of the true cultural icons of the Dallas gay scene. Expanding into mainstream movies, every gay and lesbian title imaginable (and not just the adult variety), gift items, greeting cards and various pride items, TapeLenders has adjusted to changing market trends with agility and ease, always remaining relevant. In 2009, partners Chris Lynch and Mark Milburn purchased the store and continue to make improvements.
For many of us, TapeLenders was the first place we had the courage to rent an adult video. Or buy a nudie magazine. Heck, we even bought our first Freedom Rings (remember those?) at TapeLenders.
So forgive us as we get a little misty-eyed this weekend as the store celebrates its 30th anniversary. Starting Saturday during the Cedar Springs Arts Festival and continuing into Sunday for any post-Easter in the Park video-rental emergencies, they’re launching a gigantic sale.
Previously viewed Hollywood DVDs are just 30 cents. Previously viewed Adult DVDs, three bucks (just in time for Mother’s Day!). All new adult DVDs, selected candles, 2011 calendars and home décor vases are 30% off.
It’s been a while since we’ve been inside a 30-year-old, so we truly can’t wait.
Sale runs April 23 and 24, 2011
3926 Cedar Springs Road, Dallas