Movietek/Blockbuster Video/For Lease – Surry Hills, NSW
Yet another dead video shop, this ex-Blockbuster has the distinction of having taken over the location from another video shop before running it into the ground. Are Blockbuster stickers and signs really hard to get off or something? Did they foolishly build them to last?
Ah, neon. This is the first and only instance of a Movietek outlet I’ve come across, so it must have been one of the independents back in the golden era of video shops. Also of interest at this location is the second floor, which until around 2007 was a costume shop (imaginatively named The Costume Shop). Pardon the pun, but it’s fitting, given that Movietek put on a Blockbuster costume to try and swim in the deep end.
Blockbuster Video/Snap Fitness Club – Roselands, NSW
Despite the sign, Blockbuster’s presence at 1206 Canterbury Road, Roselands is pretty much gone. In 1996, Blockbuster was one of the biggest brands, and now they just can’t eradicate it fast enough. It’s as if Betamax was reincarnated as the head of Bovis Lend Lease. This one in particular is well on its way to becoming a 24-hour gym, just in case you need to pump some iron at 4am.
Research shows that as late as 1946, this address was being used to sell retired show horses. The Subway on the lot is still going strong, keeping the tradition of hawking old livestock here well and truly alive.
Civic Video/For Lease – Menai, NSW
Video shops have been in their death throes for longer than the dinosaurs were. It’s not just that better technology came along – VHS fended off advances from Beta and Laserdisc during its prime. Many video shops made the switch to DVD relatively painlessly, although it usually required a company name change. DVD Ezy just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
The death of this Civic in particular seems like it was protracted and painful – first it had to concede half its space to the Japanese before finally giving up the ghost, kinda like the USA’s auto industry in the 80s. Many video shops downsized as a first defence against the inevitable – DVDs take up less room on the shelves.
There weren’t any overdues lying on the floor inside. I’d say a few lucky individuals just scored themselves free scratched copies of The Real Cancun or Ice Age. The real reason video shops died out is because people suddenly realised they were sick of paying too much for DVDs that barely worked, sick of wasting time looking for titles shops didn’t have, and sick of trying to hide their tears as they glanced at the forlorn $1-each ex-rental VHS section. Yes, that collective realisation was Civic’s ice age.