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FLICKS : Video for the Ages : Ojai Video is distinguished for its section of spiritual and self-help cassettes and an activity area for restless children.


For our third video store review, we traveled to Ojai Video at 305 E. Matilija St. in Ojai. (And where but in Ojai would one expect to find a whole rack of New Age videos? But more on that later.)

Location: The store sits behind the Ojai Avenue arcade, so there is an abundance of parking in adjacent lots. Next door is Enston's Ice Cream Parlor & Snack Bar, so expect to see children dropping by in the afternoon, after school lets out.

Atmosphere: It's a very friendly place, where employees come out from behind the counter to help customers hunt down videos. The decor--which includes a park bench, some flora and shopping baskets--adds to the aura. The children's section offers books, a workbench and stuffed animals to occupy fidgety young ones.

Selection: As mentioned before, there is a New Age section, featuring videos on myths, meditation and self-improvement. There's a video titled "American Astrology's Predictions '89." Now that's what we call daring. There are videos by Jiddu Krishnamurti and Leo Buscaglia, and a video hypnosis tape called "Stop Smoking Forever." Though the New Age category is particularly striking, this place has other categories not found in most other stores: documentaries (including "The Weldon Canyon Issue"), biographies, fine arts (including a video on the first year of the 12-year restoration of the Sistine Chapel), ballet, opera, video music (including a Windham Hill series) and history. The store also has substantial nature and foreign-film sections.

Pick of the Week: Our pick is actually a set of three videos, which make up the Boy Scout Advancement Program Series: "First-Class Scout," "Second-Class Scout" and "Tenderfoot."

Wall trimmings: There are the usual movie posters and, in the back, autographed 8-by-10 glossies of Ed Begley Jr., Dom DeLuise, Rich Little, Robbie Benson and others.

Drop Box: Yes, open 24 hours a day.

Rental costs: These one-day rates apply every day but Thursdays: regular movies, $2.75; special discount movies, $1.65; children's movies, $1.65; and bargain movies, 50 cents. On Thursdays, every movie is $1.25.

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