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The best video store in the country. I’ve lived in Aro for most of my life just to be near it.

If a bomb was coming and I could only save one shop, I’d save this one. An living icon. A beautiful little universe of film with impeccable taste. An amazing place.

That it started as a bunch of dudes renting videos out of their living room and is now the beating heart of Wellington’s artsyest suburb only proves its dyed in the wool indie cred. So cool one of the clerks grew up to be the video in a urban fantasy novel, is there any higher commendation?

This place is the best video rental store in the capital. Sure, that doesn’t seem like much of a claim in the diminished video rental store world, but even at the peak of things they had the craziest selection. The world cinema section is out of this world, literally.

It is always so hard to know what the next big thing is. What the next bit of culture everyone will be raving about will be. What will everyone be watching? Or reading? It’s so easy to feel like you’ve fallen behind and that you’ll never catch up to the cool kids. But there are a few places you can probe to try and keep yourself ahead of the curve. Aro Street Video Shop is the place to start any search for what everyone will be talking about next year. The staff are up on all the latest info and will turn you on to all the films and TV any sensibly culturally aware person should be devouring gleefully.

Aro Video is a precious find in a world of online streaming and illegal downloads. I grew up in a town where the only video store was the now bankrupted chain called Blockbuster's, so walking upstairs in Aro Video feels like traveling to another planet where every movie on the shelf exists for my viewing pleasure. Pick an obscure film (or TV series) and you can bet Aro Video has it, from Russ Meyers to David Lynch, Claire Denis to Pedro Almodóvar. The staff are extremely knowledgeable and kind, and prices are reasonable-- especially with the Film Society discount. Don't fret if you aren't a resident of Aro Valley, either. With a rental delivery system and a second drop-off location at the Paramount (closer to the city center) you'll have no excuse NOT to watch every film John Waters ever made.