Saturday, June 15, 2013

Rob's Random Memories - VHS

This will be a slightly different entry for me. I kinda started it on Facebook, but wanted to expand a bit. So if you were around during the VHS boom of the 80s, I think you'll understand. It was a really good time. I have such happy memories of those days. Funny thing though, I got in a little late cause my parents just wouldn't let Beta go. But I still remember seeing the much better VHS sections everywhere. And when we finally did get a VCR around 86 or so, I went wild with the renting.

In this instalment of Random Memories, I wanna talk about renting. When VHS really got big, the strangest places used to rent out movies. I rarely stepped foot in a video store like Movie Gallery. Our first place to rent, when we were still getting Beta, was a ma and pop furniture/electronics store called Robinsons that had a big Beta/VHS rental section in the back. Then when we finally got a VCR, the prime place to rent was an independent gas station on the corner. It had a small little store, probably half the size of a 7/11, yet right at the front door was a single VHS rack. I always loved it cause the front was normal movies, but the back(which faced generic soda) was horror and sci-fi.

Maybe because they were cheaper to obtain, the movies Petrol Pantry used to rent were some of the most obscure and random titles. Stuff I have yet to see on DVD. They had some classics of course too. Some of the things I rented included: Burial Ground, the Unnameable, and Near Dark. I so fondly remember coming home from school on Friday afternoons and stopping by to get a movie, popcorn, and a giant fountain soda. Good times. People today are so caught up with their netflix and instant crap, they are really missing out on the joy of discovering a new title in person. But hey, that's probably a whole nother blog entry.

4 comments:

  1. Really cool post Rob. I remember renting all those big box Wizard Videos from a car wash that had a small store attached. I really miss going tape hunting.

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    1. Oh man! I wish you had a photo of that. That sounds really cool. You know, now that I think of it, I went to a carwash when I was a kid and they randomly had Ozzy stickers for sale in their gift shop.

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  2. Much the same in England too, back in the day.

    I rented most of my videos from the local Texaco garage because it was cheaper than Ritz (soon to become Blockbuster).

    I didn't just rent horror back then though but everything... especially Rutger Hauer or Arnold Schwarzenegger movies.

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    1. That is an interesting co-inky dink. Cause my little gas station got bought out and ended up becoming a Texaco. But that is when they got rid of their VHS section.

      I would actually be very interested in a blog post, similar to this one, but from the point of view of someone who grew up in England.

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