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Naro Video donates entire collection to Old Dominion University after closing doors

The video store in the Ghent section of Norfolk shut down in the summer of 2019. ODU said the donated films and shows from the store will be available to the public.

NORFOLK, Va. — Former Ghent video store and community staple, Naro Expanded Video, donated more than 40 thousand movies to Old Dominion University.

The shop closed its doors last year, citing financial troubles.

Owners Linda McGreevy and Tim Cooper said they didn't want their massive collection to go to waste. 

It was a maze of thousands of rare films, and a neighborhood staple, before it closed its doors last summer.

"The day for DVDs was passing and had passed," Cooper said. "We were the last video store in town."

Naro Video was one of the last remaining video rental stores in the area.

"Streaming was beginning to leach away our business - and that sort of thing happens," McGreevy said. "We were the last video store on the east coast, practically. I think there's one more down in North Carolina."

It had a braggable collection. According to Cooper - approximately 43,000 titles.

McGreevy and Cooper said even though their business couldn't survive, they want to share their collection with the community who meant so much to them.

"We had people who got married from meeting in the store, we had friendships," McGreevy said. 

The couple donated all 40 thousand-plus movies to Old Dominion University.

ODU Interim University Librarian Stuart Frazer said the university will curate the films and make them available to the public.

"It's a lot of unique content that's not widely available," Frazer said. "Hard to find, unusual titles, many of which are not available on streaming."

McGreevy is a former ODU professor. She and Cooper said they wanted to give back.

"I do feel an affinity of for them and I wanted to give them something - and we did! We have them 43,000 films," McGreevy laughed.

"I'm a Norfolk native, too," Cooper added. "So I feel like I'm doing something for my city."

ODU officials say it will take them about a year and a half to catalogue everything, set it up, and make it available to the public.