Archive | The golden years of video clubs

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Video clubs have grew by leaps and bounds in the 1980s, but almost all disappeared during the 2010s.

Have you ever frequented video clubs? Our archives remind us of the flourishing era of these businesses where you could stroll for a long time to choose a film to watch at home.

“Despite the poor economic conditions, there is at least one sector that is growing rapidly: the video cassette industry. »

— Host Pierre Maisonneuve

In the early 1980s, video clubs sprang up like mushrooms in Quebec. In Montreal, there are about twenty stores of this type where you can subscribe to rent film cassettes.

On the news Tonightof December 9, 1982, journalist Jean-François Lamarche is interested in this new form of entertainment to bring home.

Report by Jean-François Lamarche on the explosion of video clubs in Quebec. The newsletter is presented by Pierre Maisonneuve.

Blank tapes are no longer what VCR owners are interested in, as the owner of the Astro-video club explains in this report.

VCR store sales are growing 200% to 300% every year, and they are converging towards movie rentals.

More the film is recent, the more it has the favor of video amateurs, explains journalist Jean-François Lamarche.

For the member of a video club, renting a movie costs $2 per night. Previously, however, he would have had to buy a VCR for around $900.

Considering that a videocassette film retails for $80, it is much more advantageous to rent it several times than to buy it.

Several amateurs also consider that renting film cassettes is a much more economical way of having fun than going to the cinema, for example.

The only drawback: the offer of video clubs depends entirely on the films available on the market in videocassette format.

In 1982, the catalog was not very diversified, with rare titles in French and a large share of erotic films and horror films.

The hit of the hour in video clubs: Rocky III, which opened in June in the cinemas and which is already available on videocassette.

Report by Danièle Bombardier on the growth of the video rental market in Quebec due to the number of titles in French. The newscast is hosted by Marie-Claude Lavallée.

“Quebecers spent $60 million last year on rental of video films. »

— Presenter Marie-Claude Lavallée

Less than three years later, the home cinema industry has the wind in its sails. broadcast Ce soir of March 1, 1985.

This growth was particularly felt in Quebec, due to the explosion in the number of films offered on the market in French.

One hundred and twenty-five new titles now appear each month on the video cassette market, approximately 62% of which are in French.

In addition to offering films in French in Quebec, the owners of Another aspect consumers need to consider is the format of the videotape.

Some people have purchased a VCR equipped to play Beta tapes, which have better recording quality. Others have opted instead for a VHS tape recorder.

Interview of Dominique Lajeunesse with André Viau, owner of a video club on the availability of VHS and Beta tapes.

On the show Day to daySeptember 13, 1988, host Dominique Lajeunesse discusses this issue with André Viau, owner of a Club international video film franchise.

The war between VHS and Beta is then on. the point of closing, since the production of Beta video recorders has just been abandoned.

The catalog of the International Video Film Club of Cartierville is impressive: more than 7000 cassettes are in store , which allows it to still offer films on Beta cassettes.

If the market drops by 20%, however, he will have to remove Beta tapes from his shelves in order to remain profitable, as the owner of the video store warns.

André Viau recommends everything likewise owners of Beta VCRs to keep their device.

On the one hand, they can continue to make recordings at home; on the other hand, they have the option of renting the Beta tape of a film of which all the VHS copies offered to their VHS video store have been released!

At the beginning of the 2000s, video clubs were still prosperous, but in the Téléjournal of September 13, 2003, it was predicted that they would disappear with the arrival of digital television.

Reporting by Paul Toutant on the threat of digital television to the video club industry. The news bulletin is presented by Céline Galipeau.

It is now possible for digital television subscribers to order films without leaving their homes; the same goes for Internet subscribers, explains journalist Paul Toutant in this report.

“No more carrying tapes or DVDs to the video store!” »

— Journalist Paul Toutant

The founder of SuperClub Vidéotron Richard Soly is not overly worried. According to him, video stores continue to fill a consumer need.

In his opinion, DVD and video game rentals have breathed new life into the industry.< /p>

Same story from the vice-president of the International Video Film Club, who does not believe that digital television will cannibalize his business.

Nevertheless, during the 2010s, streaming platforms like Netflix will finally get the better of video stores, of which only a handful remain in the province.

The business of renting video films will have progressed for about 30 years, before experiencing a precipitous decline.

Go to the video store, choose a film at length while browsing the aisles , having to return the tape to avoid paying a fine: all this is now associated with the past.

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