It may be a cliché, but only because it’s true: Our memories are priceless.
That’s why we seek to capture so many moments from our lives on film or video — to relive them, to one day share them with our children and grandchildren. But as the years pass and technology changes, we find ourselves with slides or home movies or videotapes that can no longer be viewed.
And that’s where Memory Lane comes in.
This unique business has the ability to copy images, audio and video onto a USB flash drive, DVD or CD, preserving those precious moments.
“At Memory Lane, we can digitize pretty much every medium that you might have,” said Regent Ducas, who with his wife Pamela, bought Easy Edit Video in December and rebranded it in March.
With an impressive array of equipment, Memory Lane can copy VHS tapes, VHS-C’s, 8mm tape, mini DV’s, DVDs, Hi8, Beta format video and even U-matic three-quarter-inch tapes. It can digitize 8mm, Super 8 and 16mm film as well as photos and slides. It can save audio from vinyl records, cassettes and reel-to-reel tapes.
It can even color-correct old slide images that have turned pink.
The only things Memory Lane does not do is restore damaged photos and work with negatives.
Memory Lane is located at 8431 Baymeadows Way in Jacksonville, but because it is the only brick-and-mortar digitizing business in Northeast Florida, people are willing to drive to access its services.
“Our customers come from everywhere,” Ducas said. “We have a really good amount of people from Ponte Vedra, St. Augustine, St. Johns, St. Simons Island, Macclenny, the Beaches … They literally come from all over.”
Ducas, who has 22 years’ experience working in television, is careful to maintain his equipment, some of which is no longer being manufactured. And he encourages people to get their media digitized without delay. Videotape degenerates over time. Film also goes bad. And memories fade.
Sometimes, people will seek to digitize film or tapes they’ve discovered in a deceased relative’s attic or garage. And though the images can be saved, there might be no one who can identify the people in them or provide other critical information.
“Do it now,” Ducas said. “Don’t wait.”
Because it’s often difficult to remember what’s on a particular tape — or whether the initial recording has been taped over — Memory Lane has a comfortable preview room where people can look at their tapes before deciding what they want to have digitized. Ducas said it is a very popular feature.
Some customers make multiple copies of precious media to give as gifts. In fact, Memory Lane’s workload quadruples around the holidays.
It’s clear when speaking with Ducas that he thoroughly enjoys providing this unique service.
“There’s such joy in this job,” he said.
Memory Lane is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and by appointment on Saturdays. The phone number is 904-730-9999.
For further information, go to memorylanejacksonville.com.