A look inside a ’90s time warp as one brave Aussie video store struggles to offer DVD rentals to customers 39 years after first opening: ‘It’s priceless’
The video store has been around for 40 years and the owners say they don’t know how much longer it will last
A retro video store on the NSW mid-north coast is still in business almost 40 years later despite the growing popularity of streaming services.
Wingham Movieland, near Taree, was opened in 1984 by owner John McCaw’s father, Doug, and still offers DVD and Blu-ray rentals.
The vintage-looking store for dedicated locals and tourists is still operating in 2023, despite being forced to close due to the dominance of streaming and on-demand services.
“The out-of-town customers are probably the reason we’re still open,” co-owner Mandy McKay told Yahoo News.
Wingham Movieland near Tari has been operating since 1984
The store has survived nearly 40 years despite the popularity of streaming services like Netflix and Stan
‘We have very loyal customers that keep us going. And children love lollies and drinks.’
Mrs Mackay hopes to keep her shop open but admits she and her husband are taking things ‘month by month’.
‘We are treading water. We experienced a major decline in covid. The biggest hurdle is getting content and new releases. We can only hold on for so long,’ he said.
Ms McKay said she would be saddened if the shop was forced to close its doors.
‘It’s almost priceless. It seems it should be kept as a museum,’ he said.
Ms McKay said the quirky shop gets its fair share of out-of-town visitors.
‘A lot of people come in for a sticky lip and there’s this surprise,’ she said.
‘It’s like a time warp. My children have never seen one, they will say.’
Mrs Mackay says she and her husband have lived most of their lives in an ‘old school’ way.
‘We don’t even know how to get ourselves out into techno-land,’ he said
Owner Mandy McKay (second from left) says she and her husband can only be involved in the business ‘for so long’
Ms McKay said she would be saddened if the shop was forced to close its doors
People have taken to social media to praise the popular store and share their nostalgia for their childhood video stores.
‘God I miss the video shop. He used to go twice a week. I want to experience it again,’ one Reddit user commented.
Another commented that going to the store was ‘a joy to go and get movies, like when I was a kid. The owners are really nice people.’
‘I’ve been going to this movie store for as long as I can remember,’ reads one online review.
‘Mandy and John are such lovely people.’
Ms. McKay said she enjoyed the once-thriving community attached to the store.
‘The biggest thing I miss is the chat. I could see the kids improve, see them grow,’ he said.
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