I used to love video shops.
When I say video shops I mean those little places that rented out video tapes.
These were often corner shops or general stores. There was even a fruit, veg and fish shop locally that had a shelf of random video's for hire.
Often these shops just asked you to write your landline number down on a sheet of paper by way of membership. Others had their own codes and numbers for tapes and members.
The most sophisticated outfit in the UK was Blockbusters, a chain which sort of cornered the market eventually. I went to the local Blockbuster a lot as their horror collection was excellent in the Nineties. Membership came with a plastic card and I still have mine somewhere. Due tapes could be deposited in a postbox on the outside wall and you could get sweets, popcorn, Doritis and Haagen-Daz ice-cream there too!
It was a sad day when DVD became the film format of choice and like a digital cuckoo booted video out of video stores. This took some time while both formats co-existed but eventually video cassettes: VHS, Betamax and the earlier V2000 were no more, consigned to the rubbish bin of technology.
Ultimately Blockbusters themselves went bust and the closure of the national chain was the final epitaph of the video store phenomenon as we knew it.
Kids these days don't even know what video tapes are. They don't even watch TV's in the way we did, choosing rather to sit in their rooms streaming You Tubers playing X-Box on their phones!
As video was a technology that was both born and died during the first half of my life and a format I adored I spent a good deal of time in the Nineties and Noughties collecting the oldest horror tapes I could find. Pre-Certs, Big Box, Clamshells and slipcases, I lovingly collected them all.
In many ways this is one of the many complex reasons for collecting I think: to be an archivist before somethings dies out forever. Certainly my videos are like an archive of a period now gone, the age of the video store.
Did you go to video stores readers back in the day?