Retro arcade and VHS tape shop VideOdyssey Liverpool opening this weekend

Posted on 29 June 2018
By Summer Gedall
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A film fan convinced that VHS is beginning to make a comeback is set to open a new video shop in Liverpool.

The shop will boast an array of hard to find videos, never released on DVD, as well as foreign language films, independent films, and documentaries.

Unlike the average video shops from the late 80’s and 90’s, members will also have access via a sliding wall of VHS tapes, to a secret room where they can play an array of vintage arcade games, swap VHS tapes, and enjoy a cup of coffee.

Video hire shops used to be a popular sight on UK highstreets, but with the rise of online streaming sites such as Netflix, they have now become a thing of the past.

Once a multi-million pound industry, video rental shops were soon declared beyond saving when blockbusters closed their doors for the final time in 2013 – and film fans came to the heart breaking realisation that VHS was officially dead.

But one man from Liverpool with a passion for film and armed with his own collection of VHS tapes is refusing to let film die.

After seeing vinyl make a revolutionary comeback, writer and video tape hoarder Andy Johnson has opened VideOdyssey – a classic video shop with a twist.

Be prepared to experience extreme nostalgia and revisit your childhood when you step into the city’s only VHS rental shop and take a trip down memory lane.

Tarantino fan Andy, wants to follow in the Pulp Fiction director’s footsteps with a mission to save old films and fight back against the digital tidal wave, making it near impossible to shoot new movies on film.

He believes fans are craving a curated experience that doesn’t involve scrolling through endless lists of online movies, and that it’s possible to buck the trend of online streaming services by giving customers an immersive film experience in a brick and mortar video shop.

Millions of hours of film are currently at threat of being lost forever due to video tape mould. Or simply being junked, with hundreds of thousands of tapes being thrown on the scrap heap, as they are unable to be recycled.

Based at the studio in Toxteth TV, on Windsor Street, Liverpool, the shop will offer vintage VHS players for rental alongside videotapes, private VHS screening rooms with regular curated cinema screenings, Q&As with directors and other events.

Owner Andy, 38, who used to work at the Apollo Video shop in Birkenhead, as a teenager, said he hopes this will be more than just a nostalgia trip for film fans.

He said: “The vast majority of people who have found out I’m opening a video shop tell me that I’m mad.

“But I believe the timing is right. A come back for the hard copy film format is on the cards.

In recent years, vinyl has made a huge comeback with fans wanting to hear their favourite tracks in their original form and Andy predicts that the same will eventually happen for film.

He continued: “It happened with vinyl, people want something they can touch and appreciate, its like artwork.

“VHS might not enjoy the same come back as vinyl has yet, but I’ve given a few friends a sneak peek and they’ve been blown away by the nostalgia of standing in a video shop.

“But I want it to be more than just a nostalgia trip. We’re on a mission to save film.

“There are so many amazing films out there, that went straight to video or were never released on DVD.

“Not to mention the millions of hours of precious family memories in danger of being lost forever.”

The shop is aiming to become mecca for hard copy films, with a VHS collector’s convention and providing a creative breeding ground for film makers.

Andy added: “The curated movie and entertainment experience is being lost.

“Netflix is dropping films every week in favour of their original content, which is great for them, but what about movie fans who signed up to be able to watch classic films on demand.

“VideOdyssey aims to give people a place they can get their hands on their favourite movies and create an immersive experience.

“We are even planning to work with local film-makers and members to create their own straight to video movies, that can be watched and distributed through the shop.”

VideOdyssey will have a opening party (with visitors allowed in to the members only area) on Friday 29th June… with a free film screening.