Five things to be missed about the video store

Streaming may have killed the video store star, but this brave new world has been founding wanting.

Don't get me wrong, a Netflix binge session has its place, but there is something to be said for leaving the house in search of a good movie.

Network Video, Charnwood was Canberra's last remaining video rental store until it closed earlier this year. Photo: Jamila Toderas

Network Video, Charnwood was Canberra's last remaining video rental store until it closed earlier this year. Photo: Jamila Toderas

Here's what can be missed about the humble video store.

1. It's all in the process 

One does not simply go to the video store knowing exactly what you're going to walk out with. Sure, you have a couple of films in mind but there's no way you could know all five (with five obviously being the quota as it's cheaper to than hiring three, and it really would be a crime to leave the store without being fully stocked for the weekend). The process may take 30 minutes or more, but once you get home you know exactly what you're going to watch. There's none of this dawdling around, scrolling through Netflix, only to settle on something that you've already seen or that you know is going to be bad. You just put in the movie and it's go time.

2. Under pressure 

There was no higher responsibility than being the one in charge of hiring the movie selection for a slumber party. No matter how many backups you had, there would always be at least one film that you had to decide on at the store. The success of the entire slumber party was on your shoulders. This was your moment to shine because with high risk, comes high reward. It sounds dramatic because it was. You were a kid and didn't know how to be anything other than dramatic. Still, the natural high you get from succeeding at film selection was unlike any other and now, it is no longer.

3. The movie man 

Sure Netflix has a 'suggested for you' section but there is nothing like the bond that you create with your movie man. The perfect movie man would have film knowledge to rival even the most dedicated cinephile, and would also remember exactly what you had borrowed previously so not to suggest a film that you had already seen. Sure he might have looked like Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons but he was a pillar of the community and had the gift of knowing the perfect snack to go with your Friday night movie choice.

4. Be kind, rewind 

With the death of video stores - and more specifically VHS - comes the death of 'Be kind, rewind', a phrase so iconic that it even sparked a movie of the same name. Today's kids won't understand the frustration felt when they come home to watch their newly rented film only to have to spend what felt like hours, rewinding it to the beginning. May we have a moment's silence for the phrase which once felt like video store law, as it joins other such as 'Wind up the window', 'Don't touch that dial', and 'Mixtape'.

5. Poster child 

What would a video store be without movie posters? But it wasn't just the posters on the wall that were compelling, it was also the ones rolled up ready for resale that captured the attention of many waiting for their siblings to make their movie selection. You never had to buy one, but it was comforting to know that you did have the option to put a Lord of the Rings poster in your bedroom.

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