Retro Rewind: The video shop frustration

BEFORE the days of DVD’s and streaming, if you wanted to skip the cinema but still watch a blockbuster, the only option was to head down to the video shop. Once inside, you’d scan the shelves full of empty cassette cases and bring your selection to the counter. The staff member would then track down the cassette and collect the rental fee. You’d then head home, load the cassette in the machine and enjoy the blockbuster.

Sounds simple but the whole shebang could prove frustrating. Here are some frustrations we faced back in the day.

Rubbish quality

Once you’d settled down to watch the film, the picture quality was so bad that you’d end up squinting like someone struggling to read fine print. It’s clear that the cassette has been played, copied and abused a million times. Continue squinting or storm back to the video shop demanding a refund?

Frustration rating: 9/10

Rewind status

The last person to rent the film couldn’t be bothered to rewind the cassette so you have to do it. Waiting whilst the cassette whizzes back to the beginning is a frustrating time waster. During rewind time, you have thoughts of tracking down the previous renter and giving them a slap!

Frustration rating: 7/10

The wrong film

It’s not the film you thought you’d walked out with. The label on the case is correct, but the label on the cassette doesn’t match. Its a trip back to the shop for a replacement or rental fee retrieval. You mutter the words ‘slack’ and ‘incompetent’ whilst storming back to the shop.

Frustration rating: 8/10

Missing chunks

The first 10 minutes of the film are fine – picture and sound quality are acceptable. The next 10 minutes are non-existent as the picture and sound decide to wander off. The ‘here for now – gone in 10 minutes’ sequence continues throughout the film. You end up knowing very little about the plot. Like a dream, it all seems hazy.

Frustration rating 10/10

The end

The video shop is well and truly buried. Searching shelves for the a decent film is a distant memory. RIP video rental shop.

Remember when Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks threw their weight around the wrestling ring? A time when the Milk Tray Man secretly delivered chocolates. Mr Kipling made exceedingly good cakes but what was your favourite? Fun, straplines and nostalgic photos in the new hardback book, Section N Underpass, a nostalgic trip reliving advertising, leisure and entertainment from the 70s and 80s – fiction with loads of interesting facts. Click front cover below to get the rundown:

One thought on “Retro Rewind: The video shop frustration”

  1. Oh yes… generally I used to rent videos from the library but as with video rental shops the quality could be questionable. It’s hard to believe, now that DVDs are 50p in my local charity shop. And there used to be a long gap between cinema release and video release? Now it seems a very short gap.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.