By Chris Boler
Twenty to Thirty years ago, video rental stores were common nationwide; chain stores like Hollywood Video or Blockbusters were pillars in the movie rental market everywhere from Hollywood to Hampton. While these stores focused on quantity, local businesses focused on quality. In the Hampton Roads area, one store that is known for its quality was The Naro Expanded Video. This video store opened in 1989 and is located 1511 Colley Avenue, Norfolk VA. Both Tim Cooper and Linda McGreevy bought the store in 1995 and built the collection from scratch. They have personally curated the collection and since its opening, they are now near 43,000 titles; giving them the largest collection on the east coast.
The Naro created a highly successful kickstarter campaign and met their first goal in two days; and also met their stretch goal totaling $45,000 dollars. In February, 2016 the Naro earned non profit status and became an archival film library. Now, Tim is the CEO and Linda is the treasurer of the newly named Naro Expanded Video Archival Library. Since then, they have been able to provide programs that give back to the community like the “Naro Minded” film screenings, working with Norfolk Public Schools and the Chrysler Museum of Art to name a few.
The library is so rich in history that the owners have been featured in the Virginia Pilot and DistinctionHR.com. This is a new chapter for the Naro and with as vibrant a history as they have had, there is no place to go but up.