The Final Credits are Rolling at Mt Hawthorn’s Network Video
After a run time lasting just a few months shy of 35 years, Mt Hawthorn’s beloved Network Video has finally reached its closing credits.
1985 marked the beginning of the small but successful store’s story, with it since welcoming thousands of dedicated movie and television aficionados through its very doors.
One of them was Melanie Pisani-McInerney.
When the opportunity came to purchase the business in 2012, it was a no brainer for the local Mt Hawthorn resident.
“I was passionate about my childhood DVD store,” Mel told Caffeinate.
She would frequently visit the store throughout the 1990s, which was ultimately the era that defined the ‘peak’ of the video rental sector. It was a time of boyband pandemonium, Spice Girls world domination, flared jeans, and butterfly hairclips. Catching the latest blockbuster at home meant waiting months, sometimes even years after cinema release, for it to hit the shelves in VHS form at your local video store.
Fast and accessible digital streaming just wasn’t a thing. Dial-up internet (slow, unreliable, and disqualifying any chance of using the home phone) was. And so were the new release walls of video stores everywhere. Mt Hawthorn’s beloved Network Video was just one piece to the puzzle, with video store after video store popping up and making significant profits across the globe.
Fast forward to 2020.
Despite a loyal customer base, Network Video Mt Hawthorn couldn’t hold onto the nostalgia any longer. The store ultimately became a victim of convenient digital streaming services (Netflix, Stan, DisneyPlus, for example).
“With great sadness,” Melanie announced her store’s closure in January.
Despite the store’s downfall, it still resonates with many. Melanie says every release of a Games of Thrones season would send her store into a frenzy – the kind that was normal in the 1990s and even early 2000s. She says customer-service, honing in on people skills, and getting involved with the community helped her store stay open this long.
“If I had the money, I would have gone to a marketing company because I think while I was successful, I could have been more successful,” she says.
“It was hard work, but it was fun.”
Only two video (well, technically DVD and Bluray) shops remain in WA – Titan Movies and Pop Culture in Malaga and Fan Base Collectables in White Gum Valley.
Network Video Mt Hawthorn will shut its doors at the end of February.
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