Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Prime Time video shop in Berwick Street closes

I was in Soho at the weekend, and saw that the Prime Time video shop in Berwick Street had closed.

When I first moved to London I joined, and was really pleased to finally have found a video shop that stocked lots of interesting tapes, had a decent back catalogue, and even filed its videos by director (Scorsese, Hitchcock, Allen). Even cooler, David Thewlis was also member.

But now it's gone, driven out of business by a combination of

- Cheap DVDs in other stores like HMV - several listed at £3 to buy in this weekend's papers
- Free DVDs in newspapers (although this seems to be declining)
- Pirate DVDs on sale openly - 4 DVDs for £10 off Brick Lane this weekend
- Online/postal film clubs like LoveFilm.

Personally I prefer to buy DVDs these days rather than rent, and then swap them with friends. This beats rental for me because at the end of it you've got a pile of DVDs to show for your money, and I seem to get pretty little time to watch DVDs at the moment anyway.

The other thing is that Blockbuster must also be closing branches in the UK. One other DVD show local to me (Apollo on Clapham High Street) has now gone, selling off it's stock cheap, and letting people see why it went out of business - they had about 1o copies of The Calcium Kid.

My local Blockbuster doesn't even have the wherewithall to get a new copy of Pirates of The Caribbean - so anyone walking in to rent a copy one of the most successful fioms of recent years has to go elsewhere to buy one instead.

RIP Prime Time, but not the others.

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