Sentimental Saturdays: Video Stores

video stores

Who remembers video stores? You know, the stores that stock new release videos tapes (the ones that are clunky and take up heaps of space in your cabinet) and DVD’s? The ones where you travel to on a Friday night and hire movies for a few days (or a week) and you and a group of friends watch (or even binge-watch) movies from 6pm til the wee hours of the next morning?

I can still remember when the neighbourhood I’ve grown up in for my whole life had two stores like these, where our family (mum, dad, and my brother Josh) often congregated every school holidays- and our bargaining quest began as we picked our favourite movies and asked our parents whether or not we’d be able to pick the films we wanted for the duration of the hire. Not only watching the movie was a great moment, but choosing the film was a great art too- the way every member of our family stated their case about why they wanted a certain movie within the selection to be hired on a particular day was a great way for our family to bond, and improve our communication and debating skills with each other.

Nowadays when you look around society, the only places where you can hire videos (or dvds as the VCR and its technology has become redundant) for a certain period of time are the kiosk automated boxes. Rarely would you see a video store now- in fact, the two places that were video stores during my childhood have now turned into a liquor store and a cake shop respectively. While this post is not a whinging moment for me to say ‘how I wished there were more video stores so that could serve my nostalgia’; I do want to make a comment- that the world of technology is changing so that access to digital media is becoming more readily available to a wider amount of people. With many viewers of movies and television searching online for their material, the use of video stores have sadly come to an end (even though you can still find video stores now and again). While I am sad that this era has met a sad but necessary ending, I do cherish and remember fondly the times I had with my family as we hired dvds and movies from the store, walking and having exercise as well.

What has this observation about the changing landscape of video stores (and what has God) taught me so far? To be grateful, and cherish the moments we have with our families, and remember fondly the times we share (like the many travels to video stores) – because we never know if the landscape of where we live is going to change and then we may not have the luxury to continuously do certain everyday tasks we may assumedly take for granted.

Can you remember back that far til when we had video stores? Can you even remember back to know what a VCR or video tapes really are? What has the changing landscape of technology taught you in how to enjoy and experience your current everyday tasks (like hiring videos/DVDs)? Let us know in the comments, and share what you hope for the future, in terms of DVD’s, hiring movies, videos and the concept of video stores in general.

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