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Subject: Video Rental Places in the 80's

Written By: Coastal Influence on 02/20/06 at 1:40 pm

There was a time when momma and papa video rental places existed. I can remember them as a kid. Often, there was floor to ceiling shelves of movies. In those days, they would just leave out the box cover and they actually had the VHS tape stored in the back of the store. I remember the tape was often put in a dark brown jewel case with the movie title typed or written on a large sticker. These places had their own prices and policies. And some times when you were late, if they were really nice, they'd let you off without having to pay a fee. Each store had an unique selection of movies. They'd even have a small section of used movies for sale. These were the days before DVDs were ever around, and these were the days before corporate stores started taking over. A lot of these privately owned video rental places, started dissappearing in my town during the late 80's when places like "The Warehouse", "Blockbuster" moved in.

Who here remembers these places, or worked in a momma and papa video rental store?
Did they ever have BETA's in the early days?
Share your memories.


I'm sure there might still be a few stores like these left, but it's rare.

Subject: Re: Video Rental Places in the 80's

Written By: JamieMcBain on 02/20/06 at 1:51 pm

The places I rented from were Bandito Video (currently out of business), King's Stereo, and D&D World of Video.  Only King's Stereo and D&D World of Video are still in business in Thunder Bay.

Currently I rent from Blockbuster, and before that Roger's Video and Hopedale Video, which is now out of business.

Subject: Re: Video Rental Places in the 80's

Written By: whistledog on 02/20/06 at 1:58 pm

Bandito Video (currently out of business)

I used to love Bandito Video.  The one we had here was really huge.  It had a section for VHS and Beta, and in the middle of the store was a little playground that I used to play on while my mom shopped for movies to rent :)

Subject: Re: Video Rental Places in the 80's

Written By: JamieMcBain on 02/20/06 at 2:08 pm

They had at least two in Thunder Bay, the place was big and the selection was good.

Then Blockbuster came into town.

Subject: Re: Video Rental Places in the 80's

Written By: gmann on 02/20/06 at 2:31 pm

The first time I can recall renting videos was at one of the so-called "mom and pop" places. Not far from I lived, there was a grocery store/convenience store called "My Three Sons" that had a video rental section. The first time we went in, one of the new movies was the early River Phoenix kid flick "The Explorers". Anyway, they also had the big suitcase VCR units, which were commonly used in my household until my folks shelled out the cash for one of their own in the late 80s. By then, "My Three Sons" had long since gone out of business and most of the independent video stores had disappeared with 'em. 

These days, Blockbuster and Hollywood Video are the places to go, though the first major chain in my area, First Row Video, still remains in business, albeit under at last three different names since it opened.

Subject: Re: Video Rental Places in the 80's

Written By: Skippy on 02/21/06 at 1:06 am

We had 2 mom & pop video rental shops that were in close prximity in the 80's. One has since closed, I think because it was out of the way, but the other which is in town is still around and thriving. They also rent video games.

Subject: Re: Video Rental Places in the 80's

Written By: ultraviolet52 on 02/21/06 at 1:45 am

Wow, I forgot all the former customs of the old time video rentals, but now I totally remember how that processed worked with having to go to the actual cashier and getting the video from them. Wow, that seemed like ages ago - but I remember it.

Subject: Re: Video Rental Places in the 80's

Written By: Donnie Darko on 02/21/06 at 1:46 am

I think in small towns they still do exist.

Back in 2002 I went to this southern Oregon town where there was a video rental, in of all places at a barber shop!  ;D

Subject: Re: Video Rental Places in the 80's

Written By: SingBlueSilver on 02/21/06 at 5:18 am

I remember the "mom & pop" video rental places very well, although I can't seem to remember any names.  I think most around me were like "Video Time" or "Movie Time", something pretty generic. 

I remember it was such a big thing to rent a "new" video - new meaning it was out within the last 5 years!  Sometimes we had to put our names on a waiting list and wait about a week to get it.

There was a great little store in Avondale Estates, GA - Avondale Video - that I used to visit all the time.  They would sell you stuff off the shelf if you wanted it and they would also sell the movie posters.  I got some really great posters - Pulp Fiction, Usual Suspects, etc.  That was really at the begin of the downfall of the mom & pop video store I guess.  Blockbuster, Hollywood Video, etc. put them out of business.

Oddly enough, it's really tough to find a video store within miles of my current home.  They all closed - well, except Blockbuster anyway. 

Subject: Re: Video Rental Places in the 80's

Written By: Southern Image on 02/21/06 at 11:56 am

I worked at a few Mom & Pop video rental stores. We sold albums and cassettes as well. My favorite job was at Foothill Video. We would put on some funky music video and perform for the clients. We always had a blast.  Even though I worked the weekends and nights, it never failed to be entertaining and fun. I even remember having a small private room for x-rated videos. Everyone would draw straws to see who had to be the one to go put the movies back in there.  ;D

Subject: Re: Video Rental Places in the 80's

Written By: Webstor on 02/21/06 at 6:01 pm

I am originally from Youngstown as well.....

and we had "First Row Video"...and "Anthony Cocca's Video Land"

First row became a "Moovies"...and now I think its something else.....

Cocca's just went out of business.....

i remember when renting videos first started becoming was like a special occasion in my house.
My dad would go to the video store after work on a friday and bring back videos of old Mickey Mouse cartoons for me and my siblings to watch.

Subject: Re: Video Rental Places in the 80's

Written By: 80smuzikhead on 02/21/06 at 6:31 pm

I grew up in Tasmaina, which for those who don't know is a small island off the south east of Australia. About 10 min walk from home was the small, family-owned Sandy Bay Video -still there, as far as I know. They had a VHS and a Beta section -and an adult section in the far back corner, where you had to squeeze between two rows of shelf. As the 80s wore on, the Beta section became smaller and smaller, completely to disappear come the 90s.
Just before I moved away from Tassie in 2000, the male owner came to know me quite well, as I showed up every week to re-hire a certain Culture Club video. Sometimes if I gave him a nice smile, he would say, "Just $1 will be fine" or "Don't worry about it." ;)
I also remember a Video Chemist -a large pharmacy, with a just as large video higher section. An interesting business idea, it disappeared around '87, replaced by a run-of-the-mill ChemMart pharmacy. In the more country areas of Tasmania, it was not unusual for the little family-owned corner shop/general store to have a small section of VHS movies for hire.

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