Take a look inside the ’90s time warp where one brave Aussie video store battles on renting out DVDs to customers 39 years after it first opened: ‘This is priceless’
- Video store survives almost 40 years
- Owners said they don’t know how long it will last
A retro video store on the NSW mid-north coast is still doing business after almost 40 years despite the growing popularity of streaming services.
Wingham Movieland, near Taree, was opened in 1984 by owner John McKay’s father Doug, and is still renting out DVDs and Blu-rays.
The vintage-looking store is still going in 2023 thanks to dedicated locals and tourists, and despite most others of its kind being forced to close because of the dominance of streaming and on-demand services.
‘Out-of-town customers are probably the reason we’re still open,’ co-owner Mandy McKay told Yahoo News.
Wingham Movieland, near Taree, has been in operation since 1984
The store has survived almost 40 years despite the popularity of streaming services such a Netflix and Stan
‘We also have very loyal customers that keep us going. And the kids love the lollies and drinks.’
Ms McKay hopes to keep her shop open but admitted she and her husband were taking things ‘month-to-month’.
‘We’re treading water. We experienced a big drop in COVID. The biggest obstacle is getting content and new releases. We can only hang on for so long,’ she said.
Ms McKay said she would be saddened if the store was forced to shut its doors.
‘It’s almost priceless. It feels like it should be kept as a museum,’ she said.
Ms McKay said the quaint store receives a fair share of out-of-town visitors.
‘A lot of people come for a sticky-beak and there’s this awe,’ she said.
‘It’s a bit like a time warp. They’ll say, my children haven’t even seen one.’
Ms McKay said she and her husband lived most of their lives in an ‘old school’ manner.
‘We don’t even know how to get ourselves out there in techno-land,’ she said
Owner Mandy McKay (second from left) said her and her husband could only hang onto the business ‘for so long’
Ms McKay said she would be saddened if the store was forced to shut its doors
People have taken to social media to praise the popular store and share their nostalgia for video stores of their childhood.
‘God I miss video shops. Used to go twice a week. I’d love to experience it again,’ one Reddit user commented.
Another commented that visiting the store was ‘a delight to go and get movies, like I use to when I was younger. The owners are really nice people.’
‘I have been going to this movie shop for as long as I can remember,’ one online review read.
‘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 chatter. I used to be able to see kids progress, see them grow up,’ she said.