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The end of small pleasures

July 16, 2007

It’s the little things in life that make all the difference – the opening of a new coffee shop, the closing of a favourite pub. The end of Fopp has substantially affected my quality of life.

OK, it’s just a shop. But it’s a shop specialising in back catalogues, which means I can get all the 80s alternative music I could never afford in South Africa – because it was only available on import – for not much more than the price of a pint.

Same with DVDs – all the movies I always wanted to see, that were never released in South Africa, were on sale, for less than the cost of a movie ticket.

I live only two minutes walk from the Byres road branch, and going down to browse was my Saturday morning thing.

All gone now.

This article says it all.

Then there’s Cineworld. I have an unlimited card that let’s me see as many movies as I like, any time, for £11 per month – less than the cost of two movie tickets.

My local Cineworld has 18 screens, and used to get everything. Sometimes – such as during the Tartan Asia Extreme festival – there were as many as 33 films showing in any given week. Pure heaven.

But I’ve cancelled my membership, because Cineworld has gone mainstream. Where we used to get a good selection of everything that was released, we are now seeing only blockbusters. What’s the use of 18 screens if four of them are showing Harry Potter, four Die Hard 4.0 and three The Fantastic Four?

I can’t afford to see everything I want at the independents.

Access to cultural products is one of the things I like best about living in the UK, although it’s a poor exchange for good food, wine and weather.

If LoveFilm folds, I’ll have to come home.

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