Fancy a night out at the movies, but with the intimacy of sitting on your couch? Then Bristol has the answer. A film rental store in this spirited southern English city has turned itself around from near-bankruptcy after converting part of its 20th Century Flicks shop into a bijou two-screen cinema.
“We like to describe it as a ‘film jukebox’,” says owner David Taylor. “Anybody who wants to book a screen can choose from our 20,000 titles – we haven’t thrown anything away since the early 80s – or request we source a film. We’re good at that.”
His titles include DVDs and even VHS. That, kids, stands for ‘Video Home System’ and is the sort of analogue, tape-based medium your parents watched Back to the Future on.
Projecting the future
It’s safe to say there aren’t many other places with such dedication to this vintage format.
The shop, housed in a 500- year old building in the centre of Bristol, has gone from strength to strength since David created the 18-seater ‘videodrome’ and even cuter 11-seater ‘kino’ room, both of which are available to rent for small groups of cinephiles.
“We like to keep it informal,” says David, who is delighted to be making a profit, and is even now upgrading his pride and joy with air conditioning and better projectors. “People can make the space their own, order pizza in, even bring in drinks from the pub over the road.”
Don’t you just love a happy ending?