Remember that fateful day, not too long ago when it seemed that all franchised “Video stores” (that term already seems “retro”) closed shop, never to reopen again. Suddenly, people like myself didn’t know if they should sell their DVD players on Kijiji hoping for a dollar in return, or have a ceremonious toss of the player into the garbage bin. Call it age, or just plain nostalgia, but I like being able to walk over to my DVD player to insert a DVD, sorry, but it’s true. Just like I still like my books in a hardcover/paper book format versus being on an electronic version (but that’s another story). However, as we find our technological age advancing at top speed we are sometimes “forced” to adapt whether we are psychological prepared for these changes or not.
That stated, in the community of Marda Loop, which is just located just southwest of downtown Calgary is the holy grail of movie rentals – blue ray, DVD, heck, I even noticed a few VHS’s on the shelves! Operating for over 30 years and owned by a former alderman and MLA – Jon Lord, Casablanca has beaten the odds and has remained open to cater to people just like myself! Growing tired of “Shaw on Demand” (see I tried), I decided that it was time to return to my roots, return to reaching for various new releases and reminiscing about the oldies, and laughing at the cult classics…seriously, people really believed in those “Giant Three Headed Flies from the Deep Lagoon”movies? Gees, looking at the artistry of the covers and flipping over the backs to read the synopsis, I was a kid in a candy store! The inside of the store remains a little dated, but it works with adding to the atmosphere of the oldies, but the goodies. When the guy behind the counter wasn’t analyzing “A Bug’s Life”, he was more than willing to help me find “aged appropriate” movies for our annual kids Halloween party.
The other reason I will drive across the city for this store is the location. As you know, I love old neighbourhoods and Casablanca is located smack-dab in the middle of the inner-city neighbourhood of Marda Loop, which sits within the boundaries of 33rd and 34th Avenues S.W., and between Crowchild Trail and 19th Street S.W. Nestled within this pulsating community are numerous eclectic boutiques, cafes, book stores, restaurants, and even a scuba shop (which offers scuba lessons) for us prairie dwellers, proof this neighbourhood has something for everyone. In addition to the numerous businesses, Marda Loop annually hosts the “Marda Gras Festival” held in the month of August when thousands of Calgarians in additional to an abundant of tourists flock to the neighbourhood to enjoy various sights and smells of our “Marda” – Calgary style.
Categories: Marda Loop Neighbourhood