After getting fired from an unsatisfying job in 1991 and getting a big-ass cash settlement, Daryl Jenkins decided to buy his very first porn store. A big part of his motivation was having been an unhappy porn store customer in the past.
“I liked to watch it, but I didn't like the way anybody ran porn stores,” Jenkins, who operates two A View to Video stores in Oxnard, north of L.A., told AVN. “I felt we, as customers, were treated as dirty people in something that shouldn't be treated as dirty. I mean, you had to put a deposit on your rental, you had one day to bring it back, and you had to have it back the next morning by 10:00 a.m. They wanted everything but your first born to rent an adult movie.”
So Jenkins, a self-described adult connoisseur and Nina Hartley fan, decided to make his stores — both his first store located on South Rose Avenue and his second store on West Hemlock Street that he opened in October, 2005 — true safe havens for porn fans to indulge their love of the stuff. Both stores are about 2,600 square feet and have small mainstream release sections that are dwarfed by piles of adult DVDs beyond them.
“I set it up like a maze,” Jenkins said of his stores’ distinctive layout, packed with roughly 12,000 DVDs in each location. “If you're not comfortable in one place, you can easily walk away from somebody and go to another and be in a totally different section. I set it up with grids, to where you literally have to walk around it and get into what you want.
“Everything's kind of separated into the point where if you know what you're looking for, you won't have a hard time, if not, you gotta walk thru this maze just to find out what's in there. It's kind of overwhelming to most people. They have to stop for a minute and really grasp what's in there.”
What’s in there, exactly? A whole lotta everything, sorted mainly by production company, but no novelties. Jenkins says that his must-stock companies include such gonzo A-listers as Evil Angel, Red Light District and Platinum X, Zero Tolerance Entertainment and Third Degree Films. Jenkins also diligently stocks his specialty sections, noting that BBW and MILF titles are flying out the door.
“I'm 47, and a lot of the guys that come in are looking for a movie where we might actually have a chance to be with this woman, you know what I mean?” Jenkins asked. “Guys our age … don't get me wrong, I love looking at a 20 year old, but let's get real.”
As far as compilations go, Jenkins swears by those produced by Sin City and Vivid.
“I only sell quality comps. That's my way of getting you in the door. You get in, and once I get you in here, I'll steer you up. Drive the Volkswagon in, I'll steer you up to a Cadillac,” Jenkins said with a smile.
Features don’t do well in either A View To Video location, other than those produced by Wicked Pictures. Of that, Jenkins said, “Everybody's looking for something that's not so scripted. You can only take an adult movie so far, and I think we've covered all the rounds by now, so everybody's looking for something different, something more natural, not something that's so scripted out to where you can tell everybody's just been sitting around on a set.
“People want something different than the features. If you've watching this business’ stuff for a while, some of it gets to be … I mean, how far you going take the postman coming to the door? How many times can that really happen?”
Nonetheless, Wicked’s Blue Movie,starring Jenna Jameson, and Digital Playground’s first Island Fever starring Tera Patrick, are two features Jenkins says he always tries to have in stock.
Jenkins’ future plans include establishing an online presence but mostly, just readying himself for whatever business challenges might come his way.
“You’ve got to realize your Blockbuster, your Hollywood Video — they're all going to have adult,” he said. “Before, we were the taboo people in this business, and now I just consider myself the leader of the pack. They're all going to be doing what I'm doing, and they're all going to try and catch up and do the same thing, but they're gonna run it like a corporation, not an individual person. I stock for people who love porn, and corporations like that just don’t.”
A View To Video has two locations — 3757 West Hemlock Street, Oxnard, CA 93035 and 4807 South Rose Avenue, Oxnard CA 93033. The Hemlock Street store can be reached by phone or fax at 1.805.984.4900 and the Rose Avenue store can be reached by phone or fax at 1.805.488.2553.