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NZ’s Longest Serving Video Store Owner

Jan 06, 2021
4409 Views

Daryle Blackler loves movies but he’s also into a huge amount of other things that many people wouldn’t know about this video store owner.

United Video’s South City owner for the past 36 years, along with wife Kim, the former restaurateur is also co-owner of Devil Burger in Queenstown, and in his spare time rides a large trike.

And of course he has a man cave – but it’s not just filled with old movies – he also has a huge vinyl record collection (4500), and is an avid book reader too.

Currently in charge of the biggest video store in Australasia, it is highly likely Daryle and Kim may be the only owners left in New Zealand come March 2021, and they intend to carry on.

“I just like it, and I like the product because every movie is different. I like the business side of it,” he said.

Currently downsizing their 120,000 stock units, their store was in the midst of a massive sale to offload many copies of some of their gems, and already 10,000 have new homes.

Original box sets have been popular, and now that there was more room, the video store is also shrinking the space, to share with South City Unichem.

With the movie industry worldwide slowing down after Covid-19, 12-18 months ago Daryle would be ordering in 300 new units a month, now he was down to just 60.

“Hollywood has closed down a bit.”

Daryle and Kim’s video store used to be the size of a supermarket, and although they are downsizing, they are also optimistic that they will still be renting DVD’s in five years time.

“Every week new movies are coming out. It’s not like a moro bar where every week it’s the same moro bar…”

What he loves the most about watching a good video is the ‘time out’ that it gives people.

Daryle has been around long enough to remember the beginning of VHS and alongside that in the 1980s was also the betamax – a smaller video tape.

Having been involved with buying movies for decades, he’s also seen many changes in the type of content being shown on screens over the years.


He said the storylines were much the same but there was a lot more violence and drug use in movies nowadays.

“Nowadays people are more aware of it in the community so it’s reflected in the movies they are watching.”

“And horror has become real horror now. It’s more intense. In the 1990s it was more taboo.

Surprisingly, a large proportion of those watching those intense films were young females.

“They love being frightened and get a bit of a kick out of it,” he said.

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