Online kills video’s star

The End: John Conti says farewell to videos as renters venture online. Picture: Yanni

THE upsurge in on-line movie streaming has claimed possibly the last of the neighbourhood video-hire stores on the Mornington Peninsula.

Rosebud’s Video Ezy was getting ready to close its doors over the weekend after 10 years in operation.

Manager John Conti, who has been at the helm since 2010, said he had stopped hiring out movies on Thursday 21 March and was planning to shut the doors for the last time on Sunday.

“I think we are the last video store standing on the peninsula, although there is a Civic Video at Frankston South,” said Mr Conti, who revealed he’d held off telling loyal customers he was closing. “It’s just so sad but not completely unexpected,” he said. “We knew 12 months ago that there was too much stacked against us.

“Over the past week many loyal customers have been coming in to say goodbye.”

The long-time video man and his wife Jenny sold their Hughesdale store to move to Safety Beach in 2008 and took over the Rosebud store owned by an overseas investor two years later. The Chinese owner decided to call time when the lease on the shop came up for renewal.

Mr Conti’s son Michael, 19, was a willing apprentice at Rosebud from the age of 12, having been “brought up in” the family’s Hughesdale shop from boyhood. His only job since then has been helping his dad and the “tight group” of staff members: Penny, who has been there 13 years, Samantha, Sarina, Justine and Shae with rentals.

“We lasted a lot longer than the others because of the poor internet reception down here and because most holiday homes didn’t have the internet connected,” Mr Conti said. 

Holiday makers and residents flocked to the store for movies they could not access online. “We really had no competition for years but that all changed with the NBN and the fact that people can stream their movies now.”

Mr Conti said he would take some time off to ponder the future and then perhaps look for some part-time work. 

Oh, and his customers’ favourite movies? “Bohemian Rhapsody is huge right now but, over time, the silly comedies have always been popular, like those starring Will Ferrell, as well as the super heroes. 

“My favourite is True Lies by ‘Arnie’ [Arnold Schwarzenegger].”

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 26 March 2019


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