A man who runs the UK’s last video shop, VideOdyssey is driving 600 miles to save 20,000 VHS tapes from being sent to landfill.
The movie buff who followed his dream to open a video rental store has had to expand the store after being inundated with a mountain of tapes from well wishers across the country, including the new mammoth donation in Dundee.
The 20,000 strong haul of VHS tapes was hoovered up over decades from car boot sales and will be collected this Wednesday by VideOdyssey owner Andy Johnson from the donor George McInnes – ready to be reunited with new viewers.
Based in Liverpool, VideOdyssey has now extended its retail space and opening hours to cope with the growing demand. With scores of youngsters in their 20s, renting out VCRs and tapes and wanting to experience the nostalgia first hand – the shop now boasts its very own time warp to the 80s and 90s already featuring an incredible 15,000 tapes.
Andy, 42, believes VHS tapes are beginning to enjoy a similar resurgence as vinyl, with film fans craving the same physical connection to their collection, as well as enjoying the artwork on the cover and the nostalgic feel of playing an analogue copy.
“We’re on a mission to save film. I hoped there would be a good reaction to opening a video shop, but the response has been phenomenal. I’m absolutely blown away by the love and support we have received.
“Especially during the various lockdowns, where we offered a Nostalgia SOS pack with a player and 10 tapes.
“VHS is starting to have a similar comeback seen with vinyl. People want that physical connection to their favourite films, rather than the cold experience of playing something from the cloud.”
Andy, who used to work as a clerk in a video shop as a teenager, now finds himself travelling across the country on his days off to gather people’s collections of old gems and save films, which never came out on a digital format – from oblivion.
“It’s taken over my life in a short space of time. Thankfully, I have a very understanding wife. As we have a three-year-old boy, and they’ve both travelled with me to pick up VHS hauls.
“But nothing like the size of this collection in Dundee.
“A lot of amazing movies were never brought out digitally and they’re in danger of being lost forever. Not to mention the millions of hours of precious family memories that people only have on VHS tapes.
“I can see VideOdyssey becoming a national archive for tapes. It’s important to protect them for future generations of film fans.”