"That's an excellent movie," he says. "It's got a bit of everything."

Other customers have caught part of a movie on TV and rent a DVD to see the rest.

"They've missed the last half hour," Mr Hooper says. "Or they've started watching halfway through. So they come in to watch the whole movie."

Then there are students who rent movies on the high school curriculum. Parents who want family movies during school holidays. Movie fans who can't find obscure titles online. And customers who love the new generation of 4K Blu-rays.

"It's an interesting business," Mr Hooper says. "All the people you meet. Saturday nights are still the busiest night of the week but we don't have as many people in as we used to. It used to be chockas."

Having started with what he calls a "palace", his store has grown smaller with two moves into new premises. But after 25 years, there is still space for close to 15,000 DVDs, all neatly stacked on racks.

Weekly rentals are $4.25, three for $8 or five for $12.

And as the outer western suburbs have changed, so has the DVD market. While wrestling DVDs have gone off, more customers want art-house movies.

"People come from all over the place to look at the anime," he says. "And the young ladies like horror as well as romance."

Mr Hooper seems amused his shop has been attracting sightseers, including one man from the northern beaches who dragged along his children recently.

"I've had a few people bring their kids in to see a video store saying 'this is what we used to do'." he says. "But when you think about it, how many kids are interested in what their parents used to do?"

There is also a personal side to Mr Hooper still turning up for work.

"My wife passed away seven years ago," he says. "You've got to keep doing something."

And while he gets calls from DVD collectors in other states asking when he is having a closing down sale, Mr Hooper no plans to go anywhere.

"I reckon it will be a few years in it yet," he says. "Unless something happens, I'll be around for a while."


"Back in the VHS days, we got in 94 copies – and that was in the days when they were quite expensive – for A Few Good Men"


"Game of Thrones is the most popular, despite the fact it's supposed to be the most pirated show in history."


"The comedies, action, thrillers, true stories and TV series. The Big Bang Theory, that's an excellent one."


"There are too many movies where they swear their heads off. The coarse language is ridiculous. I find it destroys a movie but some people like it."

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Garry Maddox

Garry Maddox is a Senior Writer for The Sydney Morning Herald.

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