VideOdyssey travels 300 miles to save thousands of video tapes

Posted on 16 January 2019
By Tammy-Lee Walsh
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When movie buff Andy Johnson embarked on his 300-mile journey from Liverpool to Brighton, he believed he was setting off to save 2000 video tapes. Now, after returning back to VideOdyssey, it’s estimated that he picked up a total of 4000 tapes, with some rare treasures among them.

Since following his dream to open a video shop, Andy has had to expand VideOdyssey after being inundated with a mountain of tapes from well-wishers across the country. But by far, this donation from Marcia Hudson is the most impressive.

The thousands of VHS tapes were inherited by Ms Hudson after the passing of her friend, Roy Somerset. They were collected this Tuesday by VideOdyssey owner Andy after she contacted him to see if he could take them and save them from landfill.

Andy, who used to work as a clerk in a video shop as a teenager, is now finding himself travelling across the country on his days off to gather people’s collections of old gems and save films. He said: “I tried to talk myself out of it, but when I saw what was there, I couldn’t stop myself. They’re old video shop videos, which need to be saved from the tip!

“Most of them are in mint condition and there’s a lot from Roy’s collection that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. It’s clear that he really cared about these video tapes. I’ve even discovered magazine clippings about certain films kept within in the cases which has been pretty interesting look through.”

VideOdyssey in Toxteth, Liverpool now has become a time warp to the late 80s and 90s. From older customers, visiting for nostalgia’s sake to younger people in their twenties, searching for a unique way to watch their favourite classics – there’s something for everyone.

As well as thousands of new tapes that have been offered to the shop, VideOdyssey also boasts an impressive collection of movie memorabilia and old-school arcade games.

Andy said he’s thrilled to discover a newly-revived appreciation for this retro style of entertainment – with film fans craving a curated experience rather than scrolling through lists of movies and content to stream online.

“My favourite part is watching the delight on people’s faces when they walk in to the shop and are greeted by the huge walls of VHS tapes.

“VHS is starting to mount the same comeback that vinyl has. People want that physical connection to their favourite films, rather than the cold experience of playing something from the cloud.”

What’s next for the ever-expanding shop? Andy says he hopes to receive some funding for it becoming a national archive for tapes. He said: “A lot of amazing movies were never brought out digitally and they’re in danger of being lost forever. Not to mention the millions of hours of precious family memories that people only have on VHS tapes.

“We’re on a mission to save film.”