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FLICKS FILM AND VIDEO FILE : Plenty to Pick From : Video Tyme stores offer a large selection of general-release titles with a creepy choice of horror movies.

March 12, 1992|LEO SMITH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Hey kids, what time is it? It's Video Tyme. Or at least that's the premise at the Ventura video stores that go by that name. In this installment of our periodic review of video stores, we visit the Video Tyme outlet at 2280 E. Main St. (There is another outlet in Victoria Plaza).

* Location: Video Tyme is across the street from Ventura High School, so depending on the time of day there may be a lot of foot and car traffic. Parking, however, shouldn't be a problem. There's a small lot on the side of the store and street parking in front.

* Selection: It's quite large. Nearly every bit of wall space is lined with general-release videos. They are arranged alphabetically. That's not exactly an innovative setup, but the store operators have been helpful by putting letter designations on the walls as a guide.

There's a very nice children's section, highlighted by quite a few Dr. Seuss, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, Looney Tunes, and Rocky and Bullwinkle selections.

A classics section includes "The Roy Rogers Show" series and more Shirley Temple productions than most people could ever request. The selections are organized mostly by title, not director or star. (So if you're an Alfred Hitchcock nut, you'd have to do a bit of searching for specific movies.)

Then there's the horror section. Enter at your own risk. It's got the favorites, including the "Halloween" series, the "Friday the 13th" series and the "Nightmare on Elm Street" series. Then there are the more unusual attractions, like the medical-themed videos: "Horror Hospital" with its "infamous decapitating limousine" and "graphic brain surgery." And there is "Doctor Gore." The lead characters of both videos are demented geniuses. There's "The Stuff," the video cover of which asks the question, "Are you eating it, or is it eating you?" We don't know, but we suggest not going to the hospital to find out.

* Pick of the Week: We were particularly intrigued by the "Fresh Start: 21 Days to Stop Smoking" video put out by the American Cancer Society. It was displayed in the "What's Hot" section.

* Decor: The place is hard to miss from the street, with its American flag in one of the front windows. The usual movie ads are displayed throughout the shop, and there is also a chart that breaks down the movie-rating system.

* Candy: Plenty of sweets. The display case looks like it belongs in a movie theater.

* Drop Box: Yes.

* Rental costs: There is no membership charge. All fees are for three-day rentals: Hot new releases are $4 for the first four months of availability and then they drop to $3. Regular new releases, video games and laser discs are $3. Children's videos are 99 cents and $2. The store has several free rental offers including an "early return bonus."

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