Thomas Video moves, freshens up its image

Thomas Video, a haven for cult and obscure movie buffs, has moved and will no longer be under that big yellow sign in Clawson. However, they have moved for the better; when most places like theirs are being closed because of chain stores and technology, Thomas has managed to beat the odds.


To call Thomas Video a niche business is an understatement of vast
proportions — “supremely prescient” might be a better description.

as Thomas Film Classics in 1974, the shop’s then-owner, Dennis Thomas,
recognized the potential of the home video market before the technology
even existed.

“Dennis was a visionary,” says Jim Olenski, who
bought into the business in 1976. “He started off with a film store,
but he saw that there would be a market for people to own movies — it
was a natural flow into video.”

Olenski and band mate Gary
Reichel (from early Detroit punk ensemble, Cinecyde), started working
for Thomas in the ’70s. He eventually sold the business outright to
Olenski and Reichel, who later partnered with Carol Schwartz. Now, 35
years later, the business has beaten the odds, staying strong through
trends, technology and economic tumult.

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