Tuesday, 28 July 2009

A farewell to video clubs.

Nothing sounds more from the past than video clubs in Mauritius. Some younger generations would perhaps not even know what I'm talking about.

Video clubs function in the same way as libraries. You subscribe to the club, you can loan up to a given amount of movies within a fixed time and you get to pay a fine for keeping the movie past that date.

Video clubs have started fading from the local scene as from the year 2000, when Mauritians gave up the VCR for VCD players which were later replaced by DVD players. As pirated CDs were being sold at very affordable prices (around Rs. 75 to Rs. 150), Mauritians no longer felt the need to borrow movies from video clubs. They could simply buy it from local pirates.

Video club owners then decided to get in the VCD and DVD business until in August 2001, when the anti-piracy unit of the ADSU (anti-drug and smuggling unit) brought about the closing of around 300 video clubs island-wise. To remain in the business, video club owners had to invest in original CDs and that represents quite some money so that only a few stayed on the boat.

Another factor that has caused the disappearance of video clubs is the introduction of relatively faster internet connectivity in Mauritius. We all have downloaded a movie at some point in our life. :$

Next when foreign channel packages such Canal Sat Maurice or Parabol Maurice started gaining some grounds locally, Mauritians subscribers did not have to wait much to get to watch newly-released movies in good quality. For instance, Canal Plus usually brings new movies within 1 or 2 years.

So dudettes and dudes, is there any video club in your locality and do you think this business is still relevant to Mauritius?

Image source: MundoAnuncio


  1. 5 pu 100 dan plouis =) normal video club pu ferme..cot moi video club in vine patisserie / boulangerie :p

  2. price of dvd players has considerably drop down..

    in 2001 2002 dvd were being hired @ 50 rs with a deposit of 1000 rs..

    now with 50 rs you can have 2 dvds and it becomes your property but @ video clubs you can have all the movies you want but in dvd shops which sell like 4 / 5 for 100 rs..there ain't a wide variety..

    i was looking for a movie dated 2000 last time..it was not a block buster but to hell..there is none of it in those shops and i can't find too many video clubs around tho' :( sadly :p

  3. Internet is the New Black people. Once we'll be able to stream HD without lag there will not even be a DVD player in houses. Mauritius is great for this, a real test tube in terms of video consumption.

  4. Video clubs will still exist for some time since they are converting themselves into selling dvds :P

    Fortunately (and unfortunately) my dvd player at home plays only original dvds :) :(

  5. It's true that satellite TV kind of brought down video clubs. And DVDs at R20 is so convenient. No video club could possibly compete with that.

    On top of that, CDs don't last long when rented.

    There is one video club near my house. I think they sell DVDs and mobile phone bling-bling accessories these days.

  6. Yeah, there is :P My dad owns a video club =P What I've noticed is that people loan movies less and wrestling, football and sports stuff more....

  7. Should i say Viva to Priracy or to Rs Downloads.
    Bzw even pr0n is being sold on the streets 4 pou cent XD

  8. Trips to video clubs used to be fun and exciting! I remember how I would make a list of the movies I wanted to watch.
    It's sad really. At least renting movies was an excuse for you to have a walk or just go out. Nowadays technology is turning humans into hermits!
    Tsk, tsk, tsk!

  9. :o ohh i remember of a videoclub in curepipe..je crois que le nom était Gymnasium!Ettttt t'avais des petits 'magnets' avec le numéro du film dessus que tu devais prendre et remettre à la personne de l'établissement pour qu'elle te donne ton film!! Ahhh c'était amusant de faire ça :p.

  10. Hello from Mexico... We still have videoclubs here but pirates are killing our bussines, also the internet is doing the same. But the worse enemy of our bussines are the distributors of the movies and the mayors (Paramount, Warner, Fox, sony,etc...) because they're still selling to us the movies very expensive and they keep them even for 9 months when the pirates have them one month before it comes to the teather...
    So that's a pain... we'll see what we would do with our bussines.