Ahh, the 1990s, faint sweet fragrances of teen spirit and the mainstay of weird Japanese contraptions called the VHS or the emergence of the American upgrade called the CD. They have made enjoying movies in your home possible; at the forefront of this was the video store. These are places where you can rent movies and take them home– a method of visual entertainment that has been mostly forgotten these days.
You can thank the insane popularity of streaming service sites for that, namely Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime– all of which are vying for supremacy in the digital age. However, amidst that ongoing streaming service war, one establishment in Bristol, UK seemingly went against the flow of time. It’s a video store, quite possibly the last one in existence these days.
They’re called 20th Century Flicks and have been dubbed as the oldest video rental store in the World. They even have more movies than Netflix, which currently stands at 20,000 films– five times as many compared to the said streaming service according to co-owner David Taylor. Their rates are for new movies cost £4 for 3 nights rental. Meanwhile, all others are available to rent for £2 for 7 nights.
How the managed to survive is just inspiring and nostalgic. Thankfully, filmmaker Arthur Cauty captured the very essence of the 20th Century Flicks’ last stand and made a short documentary about it. Check it out below:
“It’s an ode to the video shop experience and a bygone way of watching movies. With studios like Disney launching their own streaming services and joining industry kingpins such as Netflix and Hulu, we have an almost endless flow of entertainment available at the click of a button. It’s amazing to me that a little independent video store can survive the Netflix cull and even outlive Blockbuster,” says Cauty himself.
So the next time you’re in the UK, you might want to give this video store a look, especially if you’re in need of a blast from the past.