A VHS film collector is venturing to save 20,000 tapes in a 600-mile round trip before they become scrap.
Andy Johnson, 42, runs what’s believed to be the UK’s last video shop, VideOdyssey in Toxteth, Liverpool, and is driving to Dundee on Wednesday (August 18) to save the collection. The 20,000 tapes have been collected by George McInnes over decades of car boot sales.
VideOdyssey opened in 2018 and has amassed a collection of over 15,000 tapes from donations across the UK, so much so Johnson has had to expand his business. He was motivated to open the store following an encounter with director Quentin Tarantino.
“We’re on a mission to save film,” Johnson said (via ITV News). “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.”
Johnson believes VHS tapes are having a similar resurgence as vinyl, as “people want that physical connection to their favourite films, rather than the cold experience of playing something from the cloud”.
It’s an act of preservation too, as many movies from the past haven’t been converted or released into digital formats. Johnson has also applied for funding to create a national archive.
“A lot of amazing movies were never brought out digitally and they’re in danger of being lost forever,” Johnson said.
“It’s taken over my life in a short space of time. Thankfully, I have a very understanding wife.”