New York Chinatown stores?

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New York Chinatown stores?

Postby KMGor » Fri Mar 07, 2008 8:35 pm

I could have sworn I'd asked here before, but a search turned up nothing.

Anyway, I'm going to New York soon. I'm going to be buying a ton of DVDs, hopefully. I know about Lai Ying and the place next door to it, and there's one other shop whose name I can't remember anymore, but I can find.

But, does anyone have any other suggestions for DVD shops in Chinatown? Or, for that matter, any good independent DVD stores in Manhattan would be nice, even those not leaning heavily towards HK fare.

Any help would be great. Thanks!
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Postby cal42 » Fri Mar 07, 2008 9:58 pm

If I remember correctly, there's a good shop on the corner of Canal St and Bowery. If you stand outside it, I'm pretty sure you can see the Manhattan Bridge, so a quick look on Google maps tells you where it is. I've got a carrier bag from the shop somewhere, but of course because I'm looking for it, it's nowhere to be found :oops: . It was pretty comprehensive and quite reasonable, price-wise. I was a bit lagged when I visited, and was suffering from a poor diet of too much fast food when I went to New York, so my memory of the place is severely compromised. Actually, the flight was sheer hell, too. But I'm getting off the subject.

The place that REALLY impressed me was a place under the Empire State Building that was called "Empire DVD" or "Empire Video" or something. ALL of their stuff was highly suspect (I don't think they had a legit DVD in the entire building) but they seemed to have just about every hard to find film in existence. I bought King Hu's Raining in the Mountain, but there was a lot of difficult to get films there.
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Postby KMGor » Fri Mar 07, 2008 10:20 pm

cal42 wrote:If I remember correctly, there's a good shop on the corner of Canal St and Bowery. If you stand outside it, I'm pretty sure you can see the Manhattan Bridge, so a quick look on Google maps tells you where it is. I've got a carrier bag from the shop somewhere, but of course because I'm looking for it, it's nowhere to be found :oops: . It was pretty comprehensive and quite reasonable, price-wise. I was a bit lagged when I visited, and was suffering from a poor diet of too much fast food when I went to New York, so my memory of the place is severely compromised. Actually, the flight was sheer hell, too. But I'm getting off the subject.

The place that REALLY impressed me was a place under the Empire State Building that was called "Empire DVD" or "Empire Video" or something. ALL of their stuff was highly suspect (I don't think they had a legit DVD in the entire building) but they seemed to have just about every hard to find film in existence. I bought King Hu's Raining in the Mountain, but there was a lot of difficult to get films there.


The first place you're talking about is withing sight of the arch thing right? If so, that's the place I couldn't remember the name of - which might be Lai Ying, not sure. And yeah, last time I went there I bought like 15 movies.

Thanks for the tip on the Empire DVD place. Was it actually IN the Empire State building or just like next to it?
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Postby Gaijin84 » Sat Mar 08, 2008 3:22 am

The main place I've gone to over the years is called DVD Gift and Music and is on Mott St (across from Bok Lei Martial Arts Supply at 63 Mott). It has lots of Celestial Shaw Brothers releases and tons of movies from the 80s, 90s and today. Canal St is good, but it gets really congested with people looking for deals on handbags. The real gems in Chinatown are located between Canal and Worth (to the north and south) and Broadway and Bowery to the west and east. Those 24 blocks or so have fantastic shopping, restaurants and oddity shops. I've included a site for Chinatown, the pdf map on there is a must!


Explore Chinatown

I think this is the place cal42 is talking about Empire DVD
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Postby cal42 » Sat Mar 08, 2008 6:38 pm

KMGor wrote:
The first place you're talking about is withing sight of the arch thing right? If so, that's the place I couldn't remember the name of - which might be Lai Ying, not sure. And yeah, last time I went there I bought like 15 movies.


Yes, it certainly could be, but I still can't find the carrier bag.

KMGor wrote:Thanks for the tip on the Empire DVD place. Was it actually IN the Empire State building or just like next to it?


It's at the base of it. The tower takes up a whole block and it's one of the shops around the base, at the north side like Gaijin said. I don't personally like the thought of these "grey market" DVDs but the lure for the fan is quite strong. I also bought the Man From Hong Kong, and it's subsequently had a legit release, so I was quick to upgrade (the quality of the transfers leave a lot to be desired of course).

It seems to be a niche shop for exploitation flicks and I kind of wish I'd bought a few more, like The Black Klansman, which looked so bad it just has to be good!
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Postby KMGor » Sun Mar 09, 2008 12:02 am

Thanks a lot for the tips. I love Chinatown, going to spend most of one my days there looking around - and also take my two friends who are going with me to Lombardi's, as they've never been.

I don't personally like the thought of these "grey market" DVDs but the lure for the fan is quite strong.


If it is stocking the types of films I'm guessing it does, the large majority probably have no legit release, and a good portion of them might NEVER get one. In the case of films without even a laserdisc (I still hold onto a few movies on LD that can't be had in legit DVDs, like Radioactive Dreams) release, sometimes there isn't a choice.

I leave in like twelve hours, so wish me luck!
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Postby Gaijin84 » Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:24 am

Have fun! If you're going to get something to eat, here are a few places that are good:

New Chao Chow

Tai Pan Bakery

Ping's Seafood
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Postby KMGor » Thu Mar 13, 2008 5:10 pm

I'm in New York now. Spent a good chunk of change on DVDs. Can't recall them all, but it was a mix of classics and a few newer ones. Shaw Bros. films in Chinatown are generally $13 BTW.

I did find DVD GIft and Music, bought Dragon Gate Inn there.

Other stuff I bought: Wonder Seven, The Assassin (Wang Yu), Kid With the Golden Arm, Ten Tigers From Kwangtung, Intimate Confessions...Courtesan, Chinese Boxer, Peking Opera Blues, Encounters of the Spooky Kind, Dr. Lamb, and a number of others. Good stuff!
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Postby cal42 » Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:57 pm

Sounds like quite a haul :) . Is Dragon Gate Inn the original (King Hu) version? I liked that a lot!
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Postby KMGor » Wed Mar 19, 2008 8:46 pm

cal42 wrote:Sounds like quite a haul :) . Is Dragon Gate Inn the original (King Hu) version? I liked that a lot!


Yeah, I already have the remake.

Here's the complete list:

Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan - VCD
Kid With the Golden Arm
Ten Tigers From Kwangtung
Five Element Ninja
The Assassin
Dr. Lamb
Peking Opera Blues
Slave of the Sword
The Saint of Gamblers (the one that doesn't have Stephen Chow)
Return to a Better Tomorrow
Butterfly Murders
Running out of Time
Bullet & Brain (which apparently is awful, based on the reviews here.. Oh well) - VCD
Hit Team
Wonder Seven
A Moment of Romance
Dragon Gate Inn
Encounters of the Spooky Kind
Chinese Boxer
Lady Hermit

Oh, and on a final note, I just skimmed a bit in Lady Hermit. HOLY CRAP the audio remix is SOOOOOOOOOOOO lousy. I've heard some really terrible remixes before, including a number of the bad Celestial jobs, but WOW. I'm not sure I can even watch the film, it so utterly destroys all the action scenes.

Not only did they add in terrible new foley, it's WAY louder than the rest of the film, meaning you either get ear splitting noises or the dialogue and normal foley is toned way down. The only comparably awful audio alteration I've heard is the the American release of Swordsman II, Legend of Swordsman. I'm tempted to make a thread just on terrible audio remixes, maybe to share some information on which of the Celestial releases are unwatchable because of this (so far, Lady Hermit is by far the worst I've seen - all others are at least endurable).

It's a real shame too, as otherwise Lady Hermit looks very good. Is there a good release of the film elsewhere? For that matter, what mix does the VCD use?
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Re: New York Chinatown stores?

Postby stooges0 » Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:05 am

[quote="KMGor"]I could have sworn I'd asked here before, but a search turned up nothing.

Any help would be great. Thanks![/quote]

This is what I hear....
1) there is the Bowery within 2 blocks walking distance there is about 5 cd stores. Most sells originals while others sell bootlegged they call it original from china I don't know what they are .

2) prices differ at each store, for the same movie you can get it for under $5 in one store while their neighbor sells it for $8 for the same thing this is normal when you go shopping

3) watch out for China vcd sometimes the cover says original singer original performer and they put the star picture on the cover inside is 100% generic meaning unknown people singing and performing

4) there is store and street vendor selling vcd and dvd if you buy a lot try your luck in bargaining

5)
Look carefully, sometimes for the same title there is different version

6) while there check out the chinatown library someone told me there are lots of chinese video for borrow free

7)
Warning....look at the label carefully many dvd are region 3 only

8) there are video store all over but you have to becareful there are many video from all over the country that are bootlegged.

good luck
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Postby PAUL MARTINEZ » Sun Jun 22, 2008 10:40 pm

Its really a shame 43rd Chamber is no longer around. I spent hours in that place. I heard a rumor supposedly the owner, Singh, had ties to the terrorists involved in 9/11 never found out if thats true or not.

DVD Gift & Music is OK. Theres another place right on the corner of canal & I think Bowery. That has a pretty big selection as well. Although I live in NY I haven't been to Chinatown lately :oops:

Although I will be seeing about 5 films at the NY Asian Film Festival. And will probably take a trip or two to Wo-Hop & Tai Pan Bakery :D
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Postby cal42 » Mon Jun 23, 2008 7:41 am

Going to be doing some serious shopping if I return to NY as planned this September!

Incidentally, I didn't know 43rd Chamber obviously, but if the owner's name was Singh, it would be unlikely he had ties with with the 9/11 crowd, I'd say.
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Postby j.crawford » Tue Jun 24, 2008 8:53 pm

Its really a shame 43rd Chamber is no longer around. I spent hours in that place. I heard a rumor supposedly the owner, Singh, had ties to the terrorists involved in 9/11 never found out if thats true or not.


This is rubbish. :x Singh was a true gentleman, and a huge fan.

Those guys were the best bootleggers around during the pre-dvd times. :lol:

They had an awesome stack of original Shaw Bros. lobby cards that used to make me nuts. :D

The reason the shop is no longer there is because of the price of New York real estate. They couldn't make the rent, and that's the truth.
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Postby PAUL MARTINEZ » Mon Jul 07, 2008 2:35 am

j.crawford wrote:
Its really a shame 43rd Chamber is no longer around. I spent hours in that place. I heard a rumor supposedly the owner, Singh, had ties to the terrorists involved in 9/11 never found out if thats true or not.


This is rubbish. :x Singh was a true gentleman, and a huge fan.

Those guys were the best bootleggers around during the pre-dvd times. :lol:

They had an awesome stack of original Shaw Bros. lobby cards that used to make me nuts. :D

The reason the shop is no longer there is because of the price of New York real estate. They couldn't make the rent, and that's the truth.


I never said I believed the rumors. Singh was great to me and others like myself who would pretty much just loitered in his place discussing movies.
It was a rumor that I heard from 2 sources, granted both of them are not what I would call iron-clad. I'm very happy if its not true.
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Postby cal42 » Tue Sep 16, 2008 4:25 pm

I don't know if anyone's still interested in this subject, but I thought it couldn't hurt if anyone is considering going to the city in the future.

Image

Firstly, this Empire DVD place is on E33rd Street, one block south of the Empire State Building, so not actually underneath the building at all (it's even a little bit to the east as well). So I completely screwed that one up. Anyway, there are quite a lot of these shops around and I saw three of them on 14th Street alone. They all pretty much look the same and have much the same stock (for much the same prices). In one of them a Chinese guy was trying to sell me a $25 Rolex or something. But if you're looking for old school kung fu flicks, the place is really fascinating.

All this is probably only of interest to people outside the US, but the fact is we don't have anything like that over here. The shops wouldn't look out of place in Soho (London) with their adult sections at the back, but sadly we don't have anything quite like it.

The other place I mentioned was indeed New York Music and Gifts, and luckily it was where I said it was.

Image

There's loads of stuff in there, even though you can't see anything other than luggage from outside the street. I've never seen so many VCDs (I had to think of Brian :lol: ) and the prices were quite reasonable. DVD prices were not so great but still far cheaper than over here and I managed to find some stuff I was after (more about that on the Rummage).

I did a fair amount of exploring this time and was frankly quite staggered at the size of Chinatown but only saw most of it by bus. There were a few places that looked interesting, but I ended up being too busy with the whole sightseeing thing.
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Postby Brian Thibodeau » Tue Sep 16, 2008 5:58 pm

It's probably good I don't have easy access to New York's Chinatown (let alone New York!). I can barely find time these days to watch anything, let alone the stacks of VCDs accumulated this past couple of years. I guess bootlegging's as rampant there as it is here (??), but it's nice to see some NY shops still peddling legit product. As much as possible, of course! :lol: Thanks for sharing the photos.
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Postby AV1979 » Tue Sep 16, 2008 10:51 pm

I wish that I could go back to New York. I moved in 2005 to Pennsylvania and from there for almost a year now, I've been in Florida. The closest to Chinatown I have around here is Colonial Drive in Orlando, where there is a small Asian VCD/DVD shop. I haven't been there yet, but I might go sometime next month possibly if things go to plan.

I do miss New York City's Chinatown a lot though. I always thought of it as a second home and during my college days, I used to go there every other weekend or sometimes once a week for getting a bunch of movies on VCD & DVD. Even would buy food from there :)

Thanks for the pics..brings back memories :)
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Re: New York Chinatown stores?

Postby PAUL MARTINEZ » Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:04 am

The music & gifts place is the one I was referring to earlier. Haven't been there in a lil while. I may try to go next weekend and see whats new (or old) there.
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