‘We’re on a mission to save film’ VHS movie buff saves 20,000 VHS tapes from landfill

A man who runs the UK’s last video shop drove to Dundee to save 20,000 VHS tapes from being sent to landfill.

The mind-boggling haul of tapes was hoovered up over decades from car boot sales and VideOdyssey owner Andy Johnson made the epic journeyl to collect them from the donor George McInnes in Scotland.

Andy said: “This really has blown my mind – what George has had stashed away all this time is phenomenal. It’s a collection so vast I literally could not contain myself when I saw it all, with so many treasures all stacked up in crates, boxes and piled from the floor to the ceiling.

WIt will take Videoodyssey into a totally new direction with so much more choice for our customers – that is, once we have sorted through it all!”

“I tried to talk myself out of this, but when I heard about what was there I couldn’t stop myself from going to meet George. It was simply too big and tantalising to resist and I knew no matter what I had to do this. He has even more than 20,000 we think – it’s such a huge amount to even get my head around.”

Based in Liverpool, VideOdyssey has now extended its retail space and opening hours to cope with the growing demand.

With scores of youngsters in their 20s, renting out VCRs and tapes and wanting to experience the nostalgia first hand – the shop now boasts its very own time warp to the 80s and 90s already featuring 15,000 tapes.

Alongside stacks of thousands of tapes, there has been a whole range of quirky things offered to the shop – including a collection of 36 yellow cathode ray tube (CRT) televisions, and all kinds of movie memorabilia.



Old favourites in the VHS haul
Old favourites in the VHS haul

Andy, 42, believes VHS tapes are beginning to enjoy a similar resurgence as vinyl, with film fans craving the same physical connection to their collection, as well as enjoying the artwork on the cover and the nostalgic feel of playing an analogue copy.

“My favourite part is watching the delight on people’s faces when they walk into the shop and are greeted by the huge walls of VHS tapes”, Andy said.

“We’re on a mission to save film. I hoped there would be a good reaction to opening a video shop, but the response has been phenomenal. I’m absolutely blown away by the love and support we have received in the last few years. There is this powerful connection to nostalgia for so many people.

“VHS is starting to have a similar comeback seen with vinyl. People want that physical connection to their favourite films, rather than the cold experience of playing something from the cloud.”



20,000 VHS tapes have been saved from the landfill
20,000 VHS tapes have been saved from the landfill

Andy, who used to work as a clerk in a video shop as a teenager, now finds himself travelling across the country on his days off to gather people’s collections of old gems and save films, which never came out on a digital format – from oblivion.

“What drives me is saving these films – whether it’s in Dundee or anywhere – from destruction. 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.

“I can see VideOdyssey becoming a national archive for tapes. It’s important to protect them for future generations of film fans.”

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