Renting Videos - Share your experiences

DVD-Man

Distinguished Member
Hi All,

Lat night there was VHS talk in the movies section and it got me thinking about the times I remember visiting 'The Video Shop' as a kid.

This was late 80's early nineties when the Hollywood Trend was towards adults than kids, 12 cert was never even thought of!!!

So I'll share my experience of a time that is never to be seen again given this online digital age we currently live in.

So I started going to Video Shops with my Dad, he was a big film buff ala VHS to my DVD. I thought they were magical places, full of posters some shaped into concertinas and placards everywhere advertising the available and coming soon delights!!

I can remember a few of the names they had, all independant (well maybe not one) stores now Blockbusters here!

Star Video
Video West
Armchair Video
Dom Tek
AZAD Video (sure this was a chain)
The Bot
Scott Video

That's all I can remember just now, as infuriating as only having two or so copies of each film I though this added to the excitement upon entering the shop and still seeing the case of the one you really wanted!!!

I remember asking for old posters to put on my bedroom walls and given my Dads good custom we got a lot of freebies like soundtracks and videos that weren't out yet (not pirates, test copies with a timestamp on them) to a young kid this was all great fun, getting 4 or 5 movies on a saturday and watching them marathon like till Sunday!

My Dad let me watch anything he was watching so I seen Robocop etc when I wasn't even 10 but it didn't do me any harm.

I watched nearly all the local places shut down firstly as VHS novelty wore off, films were released to buy at the same time as renting, DVD came along, BlockBuster and Global bought them all out.

All I've got now is rose tinted, nostalic memories of 'The Video Shop' and a small collection of VHS's to remind me.

So what are others memories then?

Liam :(
 

Matt_C

Distinguished Member
I just remember joining my local video store (which was actually called The Video Store - small chain I belive) to rent - and gonna show my age here - The Crow!

Prior to that we used to be able to rent video's from the local convinience store/mini-mart type place (which handily was opposite my house) and the post office (5min down the bottom of the road). Course both these places had limited titles, probably only one copy of each, and I doubt were even "official rental establishments" ;)

For many a year tho I rented video's from The Video Store, then when we got a DVD player I would rent DVD's....

With the advent of downloading movies, and the online movie rentals like LoveFilm etc, the local Video Store got smaller and smaller, soon one half became a bits n bobs shop (seems the owners just went to the local cash n carry and bought loads of random stuff like Brillo pads, dusters, cleaning stuff etc and began selling it) then eventually stopped doing rentals altogether, and sold random crap instead.

I must admit I don't rent DVD's anymore (mainly cos the local place turned into a weird crap shop lol), but where I have moved to has a Blockbuster round the corner, so contemplating joining up there, if just to be able to grab a movie if there's nowt on TV, or just fancy it etc.....
 

Sporran

Well-known Member
when i was a kid (not that long ago really) we used to get a man in a van come round. Remember looking through the clear plastic wallets of video covers. Mostly horror films though i never got to choose anything. think i was only around 7 or 8 at the time :D

I remember that there was also this folder that i was never allowed to look in, though my parents used to frequent it.

Though i remember once grabbing it and looking inside, didnt really make much of it though i found one that interested me, remember it know was called "The Big Bang". A cartoon one lol.

Have to say i wasnt allowed to rent it :(
 

DVD-Man

Distinguished Member
when i was a kid (not that long ago really) we used to get a man in a van come round. Remember looking through the clear plastic wallets of video covers. Mostly horror films though i never got to choose anything. think i was only around 7 or 8 at the time :D

I remember that there was also this folder that i was never allowed to look in, though my parents used to frequent it.

Though i remember once grabbing it and looking inside, didnt really make much of it though i found one that interested me, remember it know was called "The Big Bang". A cartoon one lol.

Have to say i wasnt allowed to rent it :(

Ah you made me remember our Video Van man, he came in a blue Tranist and the videos were in bread crates and you just selected them straight from the crate and the guy kept his £ in his jeans pocket!

He just peeped the horn and turned on a small light whilst you stood at the rear of the van, amazing stuff to a kid (<10yrs old).

Liam
 

RottenFox

Distinguished Member
Azad video..now theres a blast from my past.
lots of strange goings on,in my local store,when i was manager of it.
lots of meetings behind closed doors,plenty of fancy flash cars,money flashed about and spent like no-ones business..then just like kaizer soze...its was gone,and the police were in and investigating..
never ever did find out what was going on,just told one day,to hand over my keys,and badge,and anything that wasnt my property,and leave.
the stores closed,then started closing all over,but soon after,global swept in and took over 2 of the local stores,and never was the name Azad mentioned again.
 

sore napper

Well-known Member
I remember getting to take the covers home, and always cursing to whoever would listen because at times the covers would be in tatters.

I remember being able to rent 4 movies for a £1, yeah 4 movies, because they had no covers. Classics like, The Monster Club, Flash Gordon, Jaws etc. I never knew what the most of them where so it was always a surprise.

I remember needing a head cleaner and them being £18,000,000, but then the video store started renting them.

I remember............... I forgot
 

brian s

Distinguished Member
One of the first tapes I ever rented turned out to be faulty. I took it back and was told with great authority that the tape was fine as it played on their machine without a problem. I then watched with great amusement as they attempted to insert the Beta tape into their VHS machine. Not a Beta machine in sight.

Cheers
Bri
 

Setenza

Well-known Member
Our first family VCR was a Sony C5. I got my Dad to join a video store in Eltham High St near to the fire station. This was in the early 80's. One of the first tapes we rented was "48 Hours".

After that we, as a family were hooked. We joined loads of local stores. I can remember even the local newsagent and off license renting tapes.

But the store that sticks in my mind the most was a place called Video Viva down Well Hall way in SE9. It had VHS titles down one side of the store and Beta on the other side.

This was in the days before the VRA and there were some very "good" titles about. Me and my sister worked our way through them all.

The Burning, Zombie Flesheaters, Cannibal this and cannibal that.

I also saw a few titles that have subsequently vanished in the mists of video obscurity.

"Epoch of the Apes" and "The Ninja Mission" for example.

Happy days.
 

fortean

Active Member
Got my first VCR in 78 or 79, don't quite remember.

The local film library, Jubilee Films I think, only sold VHS videos for £45 at a time; they then bought them back for £40 giving you an indefinite rental period for a fiver.

Usually rented horror films in those days. First one I remember was The Changeling with George C. Scott but that would be in the early 80's. Before that they must have been just too bad to remember.

Most of the stuff they had in was on 8 or 16mm cine film; I recall seeing Star Wars on cine for somewhere in the region of £100 or so.
 

logain

Active Member
We lived in the video shop when we were kids! We knew all the staff and they gave us all the posters, cardboard cut outs etc when they were finished with them. Our trips were made all the more exciting as there was an arcade in the shop upstairs.

For me it's definately one of those great childhood memories, the excitment of a friday night waiting for my dad to get home to take us. Happy days.
 

huntere

Well-known Member
Ah memories....

I remember going into our local "outlet". Can't remember the name but it was upstairs in a telly type shop.

It was early days and my mate had a Betamax! Anyway we made our choice and proceeded to the counter. A very helpful girl located our choice and before putting in the generic case asked my mate of he'd like to see his choice! This was simply a Betamax cassette!!! Without missing a beat he said yes. The cassestte was handed over, he popped the little catch on the side of the cassette, withdrew about 5 feet of tape, scrutinised it, wound it back in, and closed with saying that would be fine.
The assistant seemed very satisified.

To this day one of the funniest things I've seen. Guess you had to be there!
 

Setenza

Well-known Member
I also use to go to "Broadway Video" in Bexleyheath. One of the biggest video rental stores before the likes of "Blockbuster" came to the UK.

VHS down stairs and Betamax upstairs. When making a choice, you'd take the empty original case off the shelf and up to the counter. They'd then retreive the casette from a filing cabinet, and place the original case in storage.

They had a good range of material (even V2000 titles and video discs!)

I bought some of their old stock when the finally shut down. Still have a VHS copy of "Rolling Thunder" in the loft or shed, somewhare.
 

sore napper

Well-known Member
I also use to go to "Broadway Video" in Bexleyheath. One of the biggest video rental stores before the likes of "Blockbuster" came to the UK.

VHS down stairs and Betamax upstairs. When making a choice, you'd take the empty original case off the shelf and up to the counter. They'd then retreive the casette from a filing cabinet, and place the original case in storage.

They had a good range of material (even V2000 titles and video discs!)

I bought some of their old stock when the finally shut down. Still have a VHS copy of "Rolling Thunder" in the loft or shed, somewhare.

Forgot about Rolling Thunder, I still have that knocking about. I'll have to dig it out just to look at it.
 

DVD-Man

Distinguished Member
Does anyone remember how some cassettes weren't the norm colour i.e. black?

I remember Salem's Lot being Grey, some films were blue and RCA had the red hinge part on many of their stuff.

Liam
 

sore napper

Well-known Member
Does anyone remember how some cassettes weren't the norm colour i.e. black?

I remember Salem's Lot being Grey, some films were blue and RCA had the red hinge part on many of their stuff.

Liam


Yeah, WB's released loads in multi coloured VHS. Plus they did the rental coupon thing around the time Batman was released on VHS. I think I got a Bugs Bunny T Shirt.
 

gus607

Active Member
I bought my first VHS video (Hitachi) in 1983 and used to visit a shop a couple of miles away where the owner was of Asian origin, open all hours seven days a week every film you ever wanted BUT all copies. Watching these films I realised how people with Cataracts might view the film. He also had the cheek to ask for a insurance payment in case my Video chewed his tapes, this was soon dropped when I asked the question "what if your tapes knacker my video".
 

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