Joysticks and Paddles memories

This afternoon our Pulse team got together to brainstorm our favourites memories from the 90s and 2K era. As you can imagine there was no shortage of nostalgia! From Msn messenger and MC Hammer pants to TGIF and mixed tapes everyone brought to the table what made those decades so special to them (and in most cases, tacky ha!)

The main thing that comes to my mind when I look back at the 90s is the video rental store in my hometown of Cloverdale. Every Friday my Dad would take my sisters and me down to ‘Joysticks and Paddles’  for our usual ‘five for five’ deal. Five movies for five days for five dollars. Can’t get much better than that!

Looking back I realize the place was pretty retro. First of all the outside literally looked like a barn complete with this huge dome ceiling and chipped blue paint on the outside. Inside, the place reeked of smoke and was covered in old stained carpet. But we didn’t care. My sisters and me would fling open the doors hitting the floor running up and down the aisles where we would meticulously scan each title for what felt like hours until we had the perfect VHS mix of Disney movies, rom coms and in the later years bloody thrillers to round out the weekend. We would then pull a large laminated tag from each movie we wanted and bring them up to the front where a woman would randomly disappear  for what felt like FOREVER and then come back with her arms piled high in VHX boxes for us to take home.

But wait, there’s more. At that point you were asked if you wanted to buy a gumball for 25 cents and if you get the black one then you get one movie free. Um….yeah! Me and my sisters must’ve spent hundreds of dollars on that machine over the years and never won. It didn’t matter.

Finally, the woman reminded us to ‘Be Kind and Rewind’ (what that meant at four years old I had no idea) but it sounded cool. Then, five days later we’d be back and repeat the whole thing over again. Today, everytime I drive by Joysticks and Paddles that’s now been turned into a pet store I can’t help but smile and laugh. Today, we rent movies using our thumb. Back then, it was an experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything!

– Vanessa xox