Halifax — Movie connoisseurs across Halifax Regional Municipality felt a pang of sadness earlier this week when venerable movie rental store Video Difference announced that, after 34 years, it would be shuttering its locations across the municipality.
The closing of Video Difference will leave the city without its best source of foreign, art-house, documentary and cult films. However, to pizza restaurants across HRM, there is a silver lining to the video chain closing down.
“For generations, it’s been almost a rite of passage for newcomers to the city — walking down Quinpool for the first time, seeing that towering neon sign above Video Difference and going ‘Oh, cool, a three-storey pizza place,'” said Brian Tarkovsky, owner of Mozzariffic Pizza in Bedford. “Then it turns out it’s just some just orange star in a circle above a video store that completely, 100 percent, inarguably looks like a pizza. Well, it’s gonna be ours.”
Tarkovsky is far from the only pizza restaurant owner with designs on the orange neon sign featuring pizza-shaped triangles — Video Difference has been inundated with offers from pizzerias as far away as Sydney Mines for its famously misleading sign. “We’re getting calls constantly,” said Video Difference senior clerk Brian Murray. “When we said we were going to be liquidating, I guess word must have really got around, but we just meant our DVDs and Blu-rays, not signage.
“Disc two of Scrubs’ fourth season is only $2.99, by the way,” Murray added.
The Video Difference neon sign is one of many Halifax landmarks coveted by local businesses, such as the “Wave” sculpture (pictured) by the harbourfront. “We would definitely apply a coat of pink paint and stick the wave in front of our store,” said Clem Fetchings, associate manager of Sex Cauldron Massagers and Adult Novelties, “as it already looks more like a tongue than a wave anyway.” Other landmarks include the Winston Churchill statue on Spring Garden Road, famously sought after by distilleries across the province since the statue’s unveiling in 1980.
“To get our hands on a statue of one of history’s greatest functional alcoholics would be a tremendous boon to our business,” said Baxter Lesserington, owner of Angel’s Hair micro-distillery in Stellarton. “Unfortunately, the city has repeatedly refused our generous offer of free whiskey for the mayor, whoever he or she is, for the duration of their time in office.”
Video Difference will continue renting movies and not selling pizza until Aug. 15.