Monday, 1 February 2010

R.I.P. Videosyncratic

You shall be sorely missed ~sniff~

For those of you that don't have the pleasure of being personally acquainted with the store Videosyncratic then let me bring a little enlightenment to your life. Videosyncratic was quite possibly the coolest independent video/DVD hire shop I have ever come across. Not only did they have an awesome selection of movies but the store was just fun to be in. How could you not love a store that has a shelf of Burt Reynolds movies? And another just for movies with impressive mustaches. It also had a fantastic selection of world cinema, manga and series box sets. Their prices were more than fair and they pretty much whipped Blockbuster in every way that counts.
Only problem was that DVDs are now so cheap through places such as Tesco's and Amazon that people just don't need to hire them anymore. When you can buy the movie for the same price that you can rent it then I'm sure you can work out what choice most people were making. Throw in on top of that extortionate rent prices and a population that halves outside of term time because you're in Oxford then its a real tribute to how hard the owners worked in order to make that business.

The videosyncratic closing down sale started today. The husband and I went in to try and grab ourselves a little piece of history. For us the Cowley Road store was a big part of our early relationship. We used to have a little flat not all that far away and on the days that we were in need or just feeling a little flush with cash we would pop round to the Pink Giraffe to pick up some chinese takeaway and then trundle over to Videosyncratic to pick up a stack of DVDs. Many was the time that we snuggled on our sofa watching movies rented from that shop. All the films we watched on my hen weekend came from there. I will surely miss that store.
When I tell you it was busy in there though I want you to think of the analogy of a tin of sardines- it was packed! I don't handle crowds so well so after a little browsing the husband jumped into the long, long, long queue whilst I browsed and popped in and out of the store as I felt the need. We picked up a few films including Batman Begins- not my choice. The husband spotted whilst he was in the queue and thought it was the good one so added it to the heap. Can you imagine our surprise though when we got it home to find the following inscriptions on the inside cover:

The weird bit isn't that there are messages on the inside cover- the store actively encouraged their borrowers to leave a review of the movie (the top case is the proper one. The bottom case with the writing is the one the movies is hired out in. For speed they were just giving out both earlier). The strange bit was that of all the movies that my husband could have picked up he grabbed the one were I was the first person to have left a message. He was reading it out loud in a kinda 'look honey, people left messages' type way when I put my head over his shoulder because it was sounding familiar (the use of the name Dawsons Crack rather than Creek should have been a give away). He hadn't recognised my handwriting and so got a shock when I pointed it out to him. I think he was even with me when I wrote the original message. Hee hee. Aren't coincidences great sometimes?

They also stocked a range of graphic novels and comics. I picked up the following two- the Neil Gaiman one for me and the Old Boy one for my brother as part of his birthday present. I just wanted to show you them together for a little juxtaposition...

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