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Push play . . . Waitaki District Libraries large print and AV services co-ordinator Maclean Barker says demand for DVDs from the Oamaru Library has soared. PHOTO: DANIEL BIRCHFIELD

A quiet night in with a rented DVD may be a thing of the past in other centres, but that does not appear to be the case in Oamaru.

In fact, the media form claimed by some to be all but obsolete has become so popular, the Oamaru Library’s already bulging collection has been expanded.

Waitaki District Libraries large print and AV services co-ordinator Maclean Barker, who oversees the library’s DVD collection, has recently added a “classics” section, which features silver-screen masterpieces from the past few decades.

“It’s constantly expanding,” Ms Barker said.

“It’s a matter of learning our audience, basically. We find there are large numbers of people who like to take out a movie and put a night aside for it which they won’t for a download.”

It’s not just the older generation either – younger, tech-savvy people were also jumping on the DVD bandwagon.

She said “slightly quirky” films were popular, as were family and children’s titles.

“They are going out stronger than ever. It’s quite incredible.”

Before Oamaru’s last video store, Video Ezy, closed in 2016, Ms Barker did not bring in new release titles at the same time as she did not want to compete directly with the rental store, as DVDs were cheaper to rent at the library.

That extended to the now closed Limelight Cinema, despite being able to bring in some new titles that were showing there.

“I was careful not to get into competition, so I tried to keep an eye on what was coming out.”

At present, there is a waiting list for new DVDs, which showed just how keen people were, she said.

The library also accepted donations of quality region four, PAL format DVDs, she said.

At the moment, Ms Barker was looking out for titles including Gandhi, Amadeus, Green Card, the original version of A Star is Born, The French Lieutenant’s Woman and the Foyle’s War television series, as well as anything “unusual”.