This entry refers to a departed business that has closed or left town. All information here is for historical reference only.


Formerly the sole occupant of the site that now houses Blockbuster and Kinko's, Lightwave Video carried the normal selection of Hollywood flicks. It distinguished itself from the everyday video rental store by carrying—what was at the time—the most impressive collection of Japanese animation in town (if not in Northern California)), and one received special rental rates if you were a card-carrying member of the Davis Anime Club.

The Sci-fi, Horror, and Anime collections were kept in a bank vault left over from the building's prior tenant.

The owners eventually sold Lightwave Video. The General Manager later opened the Alternative Universe.

Lightwave occupied the same footprint as Blockbuster. The Kinko's was a later add-on over the former bank's drive through teller area/parking lot. Yes, Lightwave originally had its own parking.

The story I've heard goes that Joel, the (original?) owner of Lightwave, sold it to someone who in turn sold it to Blockbuster. At the time, Blockbuster had a location in North Davis but no foothold Downtown. It is also said that the second owner made a ton of money off the sale. I still mourn the passing of both Lightwave and Alternative, and wish that 49er Video had kept more of the anime collection that they bought from Alternative when it closed. - Kev!

While Kevin has many of the facts right, there is one big difference...I never owned LightWave Video. While I did name it, buy all of the product there, promoted it and ran the place, day in day out - I wasn't the owner. I was contracted to open the store and fell in love with the city of Davis and moved there to manage and operate the store as the General Manager. The years there were incredible and we had a blast doing it - but after the owners decided to sell the store to Blockbuster (and they removed close to 35% of the hard to find titles we carried there, including most of the anime) I decided to open a small video shop of my own and contrary to popular belief, we didn't get any of those videos from Lightwave. Many of those were unceremoniously thrown away, the day that Blockbuster arrived (however the cool counters we had at the Alternative Universe were salvaged Lightwave Video originals).

I am still around and kicking, working as a film producer/director with Emerging Artist Productions out of San Jose, just finished my first feature (a documentary) and making commercials, corporate videos and planning my next narrative film. The Lightwave Video Story (j/k).

— joel.hinojosa

  • Good to see you're still around, Joel! Thanks for straightening out my facts: you may not have been the owner, but certainly you guys were the ones who mattered! Give my best to your family. - Kev