Popular and iconic DVD lending library, Shemaroo library will be shutting shop by the end of 2014. We speak to a few die-hard patrons on what this means for movie buffs in Mumbai
Actor, Theatre person
I was probably one of their most voracious customers between 2000 and 2007. Every evening, without fail, I would rent a movie until I shifted to Dadar. What I enjoyed the most was the individual attention. Collin, the person who would work there had great knowledge about the titles and would suggest movies over the phone; he was like a pen pal whose voice was your friend. I would even drop by the store sometimes to meet him. I also remember their bike and cycle boys who would come for delivery and shout ‘Shemaroo!’ outside your home. I hated it when some of the lovely old theatres I used to visit had shut down; it is the same for Shemaroo, it is a landmark institution.
Though I haven’t been renting from them of late, I remember having classics home-delivered several years ago. They used to maintain a very good relationship with customers and would have all the latest films too, which at times, would not have even been released in India at that time. The shutting of Shemaroo shows how the world is moving so fast. Today, we have different channels where I can watch a variety of movies, and Hollywood films release here before they release in the US or the UK. But what people are missing out the most is the individual attention that they would provide.
Art gallery owner
They started as a book library; I recall borrowing books from them. Summertime was primetime. They had comics, detective novels, PG Wodehouse and other genres. I shifted to Colaba later, and that’s when I stopped visiting the place. The shutting down of lending libraries is similar to the closing of bookstores. The people who ran these stores would give you details that an online shopping portal cannot offer. When I would go to buy books at Strand, Mr Shanbhag would introduce us to writers. Likewise with Shemaroo; their personal touch will be missed.
Actor and TV Host
I have been visiting them for over 15 years now, and I don’t know what will I do once the store shuts down. I don’t know how to download stuff from the Internet and I don’t know where to go for my movies. I would rent all sorts of titles: the latest Hindi movies, old documentaries, drama, shows such as Allo! Allo! and Black Adder. What I will miss the most is their personal attention. I remember Collin who used to work there, he would give lectures over the phone about different movies. It is my daily source of entertainment and movies, and it shutting down is a very bad thing.