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If you grew up in the 1990s or had children who did chances are you spent many weekends and school holidays browsing the shelves in your local Blockbuster video store.
Well, the last one in Sydney, Blockbuster Mount Annan, is about to close its doors for the last time.
Adrian and Helen Smith have operated the video shop at Mount Annan Marketplace for nearly 20 years.
“We’re actually the last original tenant apart from Woolworths at the centre,” he said.
“Our lease renewal is coming up and unfortunately there is just not enough business to take on the commitment.”
The store opened during the video rental heyday – when the region was home to several rental stores across Ingleburn, Minto, Campbelltown, Tahmoor, Narellan, Bradbury, Camden and Mount Annan.
“I think there has been a real generational change compared to 10-15 years ago,” Mr Smith said.
“There’s the convenience of digital downloads, Foxtel, Stan and Netflix – even Youtube.
“Us little independents just can’t compete.”
Mr Smith said their profit margin had dropped significantly since the late 1990s and early 2000s.
“The population has grown by a lot since then but our turnover is less than one eighth of what we were making back then.”
Mr Smith said their customer service and unique range had kept them going longer than other video stores.
“Bringing Cold Rock in has also helped set us apart,” he said. “But the biggest achievement for us is that we have helped a lot of local kids get their first jobs and develop a work ethic. Those are some of our greatest memories.”
Mr Smith said he was sad to see this era coming to an end.
“It has been a wonderful 16 years. People have been overwhelmingly nice about it.
“They have been saying that the store was a huge part of their childhood or they remember heading down here on date nights to choose a movie. It’s the end of an era for all of us.”
On August 11 the store will hold a closing down sale where approximately 25,000 DVDs, Blu-rays and 3D Blu-rays – even the store’s shelving – will be available for sale.
“We’ll have a VIP night before the sale starts so that some of our most loyal customers can have the first bite of the cherry,” Mr Smith said.
“There are DVDs here that you can’t find anywhere else – you can’t buy them anymore.”
This story first appeared in the Camden-Narellan Advertiser