Pass the popcorn please!

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United Video's Lynn Arthur and Kevin Stewart are surrounded by murder, action-packed adventure and romantic comedy.

Kevin Stewart and Lynn Arthur returned to work from lockdown to a store full of murder, mayhem and romance. There was also some action-packed fighting, comedy and a few musical numbers.

It’s no real surprise, they work at United Video – Ashburton’s last remaining video rental store.

Kevin, who has owned the store for 21 years, says reopening was a great chance to reconnect with their members, many of who missed coming in-store having a chat and selecting a movie.

The duo was keen to see a return of members who may have taken to online streaming sites or television’s on demand platforms over lockdown.

“We are slowly building up a return (of people) to dvd hire,” Kevin says.

The store reopened at Alert Level 3 after a thorough clean including shelves, cases and dvds. It was like an autumn spring-clean, Kevin says.

The post-lockdown clean proved a good time to sort through surplus dvds and games and there is now an extensive range available for sale.

Lynn says dvds and cases are also cleaned down as they return from hire.

She has worked in the store for 19 years and says prior to lockdown some members took up the store’s offer to hire bulk movies and games to keep them entertained.

It’s now time to return them, she says with a smile.

Over lockdown Lynn watched the romantic comedy movie Last Christmas and caught up on the ending of Game of Thrones.

She also took up baking (along with the rest of the country), sorted the garden and cleaned out her house, which was a prelude to the cleaning of the store.

In stark contrast, Kevin took home a few new release movies but did not watch any. In an effort to stop going stir crazy inside, he took up walking the streets for up to an hour and a half each day.

He also works ANZCO security, which as an essential service kept him busy too.

Kevin says Covid-19 had disrupted film production globally, which would have a flow-on effect with new releases to the video market.

In March when the country went to into lockdown new releases included movies such as 1917, Jumanji, Star Wars, The Grudge and Dr Dolittle which are still in now, two months later.

But it’s a good time to catch up on some movie viewing with a mix of new releases and real classics in store.

– by Toni Williams