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“It’s the end of an era…” Near Nantes, the closure of one of the very last video clubs in France

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He is one of the last representatives of a profession which has counted up to 8,000 points of sale in France and now has less than ten. At Loroux-Bottereau, a small town in the Nantes suburbs, Dan Vidéoclub will close its doors for good on Sunday. His boss, Daniel Lecoindre, a veritable encyclopedia of cinema, is going to retire after having kept his store at arm’s length for thirty years.

“For the moment I don’t realize too much because I’m in the heat of the moment, says Daniel, 60 years old. But of course it’s going to be weird. This store was my baby, I worked there seven days a week. I experienced the golden age of video, the euphoria of the 1990s during the time of video recorders. I experienced technological developments with the replacement of the VHS. Then the collapse, too, with the arrival of the DVD and, above all, the rise of the Internet and streaming. »

“A lot of feedback, a lot of sadness”

The man who has some 10,000 film references in his shop, which he rents for 3.40 euros each, had managed to forge a close bond with his clientele, even with a “new generation who had never visited the lesser video club”. “My clients trusted me to spend a good evening with the family or find a comedy that would appeal to children. My pleasure was to give them the right advice, adapted to each one. And then leaving with a box, touching the support, it’s another approach. »

Since the announcement of the closure of Dan’s store a month ago, the testimonies of disappointment mixed with thanks have been piling up. “I have a lot of customer feedback, with a lot of sadness, says the sixty-year-old. They tell me that it’s an atypical landmark that will disappear. They were proud to have a video club in the town. »

A “second life” for the DVD collection

If the store will indeed lower the curtain, the collection of DVDs and Blu-Rays will not be forgotten. A “sponsor” from the Nantes region has in fact bought the whole thing. “His goal is to preserve this cultural heritage and give it a second life. I couldn’t have asked for better, especially since there are a few nuggets in the stock that you can’t find anywhere else,” says Daniel.

The almost retired continues. “I was resisting but, well, it’s the end of an era. We are definitely turning the page on a mode of consumption. In France, we plunged very quickly. The dematerialization went very quickly. The disaffection of cinemas today, I find that dramatic. Going out to select a film is already a social bond. »

Outside the Nantes region, 20 minutes identified two video clubs opened in Ile-de-France, one in Calais, one in Bordeaux, one in Marseille and one in Lyon. Some are integrated into a cultural hall. Others have chosen to diversify the activity with additional services (parcel relay, photocopies, etc.). “Rentals only represent 30% of my turnover,” explains Jean, manager of Yo-yo Video in Bordeaux. But I’m holding on, I don’t intend to close. »

#era #Nantes #closure #video #clubs #France

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