Tag Archives: movie rentals

Mysterious garden

Primetime Video shop rear exit

I went wandering around Prime Time on Saturday (they seem to have taken down the “VHS Sale” signs finally), and was shocked to see that for the first time I can remember, the fire exit doors at the back were wide open.

I had always assumed that there would be a rickety old metal fire escape down to an alleyway out at the back, but no! It looks like there is a rather nice little garden down there, with decking and parasols,. Looked like a lovely spot to eat your fish and chips – perhaps the chip shop will open it up – or maybe PrimeTime will take up my suggestion of turning their lower floor into a cocktail bar, using the garden at the back during the summer…

And before you ask, I couldn’t find the film I was looking for (Blade Runner the Final Cut…  Under F for Harrison Ford, S for Ridley Scott, or B in the Sci Fi section?!)

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Prime Time – the strangest and best movie rental shop

the best video store in the world... Or in Blackheath

Imagine you were going to start a movie rental shop. There would be a number of things you’d have to consider… How would you store your DVDs so that your customers could find them easily? Would you perhaps take the easy way out, and arrange them by title? Or would you go the Prime Time route of arranging them by actor, unless the director is more famous, in which case arrange by director. Unless they’re a new release in which case they’ll be at the front of the shop… On the left if they’re cheesy blockbusters, and on the right if they’re arty.

How would you publicise your shop? Maybe put some posters in the window? Some tempting images of hollywood starlets perhaps? Or some classic film posters from a bygone age? Surely if you had interestingly curved glass display windows you’d put something there… Perhaps you’d choose to stick some bright plastic letters to the glass saying “MASSIVE VHS CLEAROUT”, and leave it at that (don’t look confused – you know what VHS is… they were those tapes the size of buses that you used to tape Eldorado on).

The really odd thing about the shop is this labyrinthine lower level full to the brim with dusty VHS tapes. Why don’t they just get rid of them? Open a bar down there or something. I have never seen anyone leave that shop with anything other than a DVD in their hand.

And then, there is the dispute. The angry sign apologising for the lack of heating… Something to do with the chip shop next door, and air vents… Anyway, I quite like it chilly… With all that velvet it starts to feel like part of a David Lynch movie.

They don’t take credit cards – the entire place seems to run on cash only. It looks like the sort of place where you should be allowed to smoke. They ask for a credit card before allowing you to take films out, which seems a bit disingenuous.

They do have tons of great films though. And a wide variety of shop assistants – some who make terrible recommendations, and some who look mockingly at the terrible films the customers choose. It’s more atmospheric than lovefilm, and you don’t get the feeling that they’re always giving you the last item on your list (probably becuase they can’t see your list – if they did, they’d just laugh at it).

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