I know it’s our fault video shops no longer exist because we maybe didn’t visit one for 10 years, and walked past apathetically as they literally begged us to “BUY 14 DVDs FOR 25 CENTS OR WE’RE OUT OF BUSINESS DO YOU UNDERSTAND.”
Yes we understood. We just didn’t give a sh*t.
We were all very busy fussing over Netflix which didn’t require us to get out a second mortgage because we returned a movie a day late.
But now some of us feel… regret.
Because we miss the smell of popcorn mixed with hope and excitement, but also plastic.
We now feel nostalgic for some of our earliest memories, which inevitably involved our mum yelling about video shop late fees and maybe accusing them of being ‘thieves’ while we hid in the ‘Arthouse’ section hoping that no one knew we were related.
We miss the Friday night expedition of heading to the video shop, racing towards the ‘New Release’ section only to discover that the movie you wanted is all rented out.
Here are the six things we miss the most, two decades on from the Golden Era of the Video Shop.
The popcorn, but also the snacks more broadly
There is no snack food currently on the market that competes with video shop popcorn and that is a scientific fact.
It varied slightly, of course, depending on the shop. Video Ezy weirdly sucked all the air out of their popcorn so that it looked like one of those Space Bags. Blockbuster tried to push microwave popcorn and no. That’s not what we wanted.
They had other standard snacks like M&Ms and Maltesers, and the fact that they were always slightly overpriced made you want them more.
2. The smell
It smelled like happiness and potential.
There was always a faint hint of microwave popcorn which in retrospect didn’t make… sense.