Lifelong Shelton resident, Video 7 owner Robert Achille dies

Robert Achille, owner of Video 7 on Kneen Street, pictured inside the store in 2016. Achille, 64, a lifelong Shelton resident and owner of the iconic Video 7 for more than three decades, died July 15 at Yale New Haven Hospital.

Robert Achille, owner of Video 7 on Kneen Street, pictured inside the store in 2016. Achille, 64, a lifelong Shelton resident and owner of the iconic Video 7 for more than three decades, died July 15 at Yale New Haven Hospital.

Contributed photo

SHELTON — The city has lost an educator, championship volleyball coach and owner of one of the longest running video stores in the country.

Robert Achille, 64, a lifelong Shelton resident and owner of the iconic Video 7 on Kneen Street for more than three decades, died July 15 at Yale New Haven Hospital.

Achille was the department head of machinery at Eli Whitney Technical School for more than 10 years, according to his obituary. While at Eli Whitney, he coached the girls volleyball team, leading them to a championship.

Achille, an avid fan of the Los Angeles Rams, played slow pitch softball and was on state championship teams, his obituary states.

He is long known for owning and operating Video 7, the inside of which is filled wall-to-wall with old VHS and the most recent releases on DVD/Blu Rays, autographed photos of actors Achille met at a number of movie conventions, and even some rare Pamela Anderson memorabilia.

In an interview with The Shelton Herald in 2016, Achille said remaining in business had been difficult, but he was driven by seeing the satisfaction on his customer’s faces.

“There’s nothing like it,” Achille said in that interview. “Movies are similar to music in the sense that watching them or in my case renting and selling them to people can bring you back to a time in history. Every VHS we have for sale in here is a little piece of history. “I get stopped every so often by a person who says they recognize me. I always respond by saying ‘I don’t know, have you ever been to Video 7?’ When their face lights up it brings me back and reminds me why I do this.”

Achille said that the business is especially meaningful to him because it is right across from where he had his very first job as a child.

“I guess you can say everything came around full-circle. I used to start my paper route across the street, right there on Kneen and Coram. The last stop on my route was my house. It’s kind of crazy to think that this is where I ended up and that we’ve been here so long.”

According to his obituary, Achille loved to play basketball and coordinated a weekly pickup game for many years which led his fellow players to give him the nickname “The Commish.”

Born Oct. 24, 1957, at St. Raphael Hospital in New Haven, he was the son of the late Salvatore and Rose (Esposito) Achille.

Achille was married to Margaret Vicidomino and is also survived by his son, Roman Achille.

Burial was held in Mt. St. Peter Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made St. Mary Church, 212 Elizabeth St., Derby, CT 06418.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com