February 12, 2014

40th D&D - First Store

Day 12: First store where you bought your gaming supplies. Does it still exist?

Ritz Camera. It was a camera store that also carried a lot of the more eclectic hobby products. Cameras were a hobby back then so it made sense to also offer the other hobbies. They had race cars, rockets, models, board games and rpgs. They actually kept a pretty good stock of the beginning rpgs, but they always had D&D. They were in a strip mall with the local general store (about 30 miles from home) so we would go there every couple of weeks. I would leave my mother at the other store and I'd hurry over to the camera store and check out what was new. Those were wonderful and exciting times. Every time was like looking at a trove of new treasures.

As time went on they began to carry less and less of the other hobby products as they focused more on their camera and film business. Also, the more niche hobby stores (comic books + games) began to carry more of the market in the area; people stopped getting their rpgs at the camera store.
As the marketplace changed Ritz Camera got into film development and it did them fine for a while. That is until everything went digital and no one cared about film. They couldn't compete with the lower prices that could be had at a Walmart and such. Their last store location went out of business a couple of years ago. I believe they have a website where they sell cameras online only.

Side Note: Most gaming stores will offer to order you something if they do not have it in stock. I have only ever done this twice in my life and I now refuse to do it ever again. Why? Because both stores went out of business after I placed the order and before the item came in. The two instances were 3 years apart. I figure me ordering something from a store is bad luck and for their own sake, I won't do it again.

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