A sad day for movies as Bath rental shop On the Video Front shuts
A shop closure this month will not just mean another empty unit for the city but will signal the end of an era for film lovers in Bath.
By the end of this month, DVD rental shop, On the Video Front, on Terrace Walk, will have closed.
After opening in 1986, when the biggest rival for VHS was Betamax, the shop has witnessed huge changes in the way people watch films.
However, owner Philip Raby, 61, said the shop was not just a victim of a change in how films were accessed but also a shift in people's lifestyles.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
He said: "In 1986 there were no mobile phones, no internet and no Sky TV.
"The world was a much more restricted place.
"People watched the television and went to the cinema and if you saw a film in the cinema it was years before you saw it on TV.
"People didn't buy videos, they rented them – you couldn't buy them in a supermarket. We had the world to ourselves."
Film lover Mr Raby, who previously worked in the natural food shop Harvest, in Walcot Street, said opening the video shop had been a dream.
He said: "It was one of the moments that sounds very unlikely.
"I finished working at the Harvest, I was 35 and didn't know what to do with my life and I had a lightbulb moment – if I could do anything I would open a video shop.
"Back in those days they were pretty seedy places, video shops, with people wearing dirty macs.
"There wasn't anywhere in Bath where you could rent decent films."
Despite keeping the same name for 26 years, the shop has not stocked videos for more than ten years after the arrival of DVDs.
Mr Raby has said he will spend his retirement from the shop focusing on the Bath Film Festival, which he has been involved in running 22 years, as well as writing film reviews for his website.
Mr Raby, a former Bath Chronicle film reviewer, said: "I think people will miss it in some ways.
"In terms of being spontaneous people won't be able to suddenly decide on a Saturday night to go and choose a film to watch."
On the Video Front is expected to close by the end of January and the shop is currently selling off all of its stock.