A visit to the world's oldest surviving video rental store

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/02/24/a-visit-to-the-worlds-oldest.html


Be kind, rewind.

Roger That!


I’m rewinding right now!

A shout out to Tucson’s brilliant Casa Video:

Video rentals and film bar!


In case everyone is wondering, they were founded in 1984…

Also, a great excuse to post about Videodrome:

Founded in 1998…


Not to turn it into a pissing match, but I Luv Video in Austin, TX, “The Oldest and Largest Video Store in the World” was also established in 1984.


I was renting tapes from Casa Video in Tucson in 1983. It’s still there.
So there!


My town still has one video store, and it’s amazing. They have all the new releases as you would expect, plus a back catalog that’s full of movies and TV shows that are not available on iTunes or Amazon or Netflix, all with consistent pricing. And you can’t beat the experience of browsing the aisles to see what catches your eye.

Considering that it would be impossible to start a new video store from scratch, these old stores are real gems.

In the 90s people talked about how the internet would revolutionize the industry with the long tail of an infinitely large catalog, but the opposite occurred. Movies come and go from the streaming services and iTunes, and prices are all over the map. You never know what you’re going to get. The old school video store has them all beat. I really resent the $500 I spent on Netflix before I finally cancelled.



it isn’t the oldest, but maybe one of the underappreciated. Movie Madness in Portland. It is across town, but I try to get there… occasionally. Looking for that odd Farsi movie you heard about years ago? likely there (as well as every other movie made). Oh, and it is packed to the gills in movie memorabilia. I don’t know why it isn’t more of known “Portland place” (please, go there, not Voodoo donuts)


No love for Scarecrow Video? Directors have visited there as a pilgrimage. They have EVERYTHING.


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The internet has revolutionized the industry with an infinitely large catalogue. But not on Netflix alone. You need to Google the movie you want to see, or use another good search engine. It will be found.

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The real burning question though…

Is there a curtained off room in the back or not?

ETA: video clip is better


Hold on there, partner. Bob Oliver’ RAO Video has you beat. Although he just last month announced his retirement, RAO Video on Little Rock’s Main Street began 5 years earlier in 1977. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. (He could sell you a bong as well.)


Where is the β-max section?

In New Zealand, want to add a few here not because of age, but just to show 20th Century theyre not alone!

Alice in Christchurch, which used to just be a videoshop - Alice in Videoland - open since 1985. Added a cinema in 2012 after re-opening after the Christchurch Earthquake, now also a second plus still has the rentals.

Aro Video in Wellington - opened in 1989. One of the best catalogs in the southern hemisphere with over 25,000 titles.

The Video Shop in Auckland - also opened in the 80s. Last remaining store of the chain they once had.

I wish to try keep these alive here in NZ. There was the late Videon in Auckland until just over a year ago, such a loss. They had around 30,000 items. Our last major mainstream retail video store closed about the same time taking 38,000 items with it too.


Flicks was founded in 1982. RAO video has them beat fair and square though. Well done to them. So I guess for the next 5 years Flicks is ‘the longest running video rental store still in operation’. Bit of a mouthful, that!

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