With video stores and drive-in theatres having long been replaced by streaming services, one man is hoping to preserve their memory.
Former Riverina resident Leon O'Regan has spent years amassing a wide variety of video-related memorabilia.
Growing up at Tabletop, Mr O'Regan, 40, has fond memories of visits to the video store.
"I grew up on a farm before the internet era," he said.
"It felt quite isolated and I found going to the video shop provided a link to the world beyond the countryside. There were many great video stores back then and they were an amazing resource."
Attending school in Walla, he had friends in Wagga and used to travel there frequently. "When I was in my late teens I would catch a ride with anyone travelling to Wagga and go around to the video stores like Civic Video, Video Ezy and Blockbuster," he said.
"Before the stores were even on sale I would ask to buy their video tapes and a lot of the time they would actually sell them to me because they had been sitting there for years without being rented."
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These days Mr O'Regan works in the industry himself, running a small label called Ex Film in Melbourne.
"Through my job I deal in this VHS cult of fandom around films," he said.
What drives him in his quest is a desire to preserve the history of video before it disappears.
"It's early stages yet, but I do intend to curate an exhibition," he said.
"While my first priority is to preserve whatever pieces I can and ensure they don't end up in landfill or get painted over, it is also important to have them in a place where the public can view them."
During the COVID lockdown, Mr O'Regan found his interest turning to drive-in theatres as well.
So he travelled up to Wagga earlier this year to photograph the former drive-in theatre at Gumly Gumly.
"That used to be a huge drive-in, and although it's now a caravan storage site, there are still parts of the original structures on the site," he said. "It was amazing just looking through the gates and seeing the bio-box, the kiosk and entrance still standing, although the screen has now gone."
Some of the more intriguing memorabilia Mr O'Regan collects include signage from old video stores right across the country, and he is particularly interested in memorabilia from old stores around the Riverina.
"It's a long shot, but if anyone ran those stores and has nothing to give me but photographs of them in operation, even that would be like gold, because it will help preserve the legacy of the industry," he said.
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