Curtain closes on family-run movie store

Sam GibbsSouth Western Times
Panetta’s Amusement owner frank Panetta outside the family business which closed on Friday after 46 years.
Camera IconPanetta’s Amusement owner frank Panetta outside the family business which closed on Friday after 46 years. Credit: Sam Gibbs

It is the end of an era for Harvey with the closure of Panetta’s Amusements video store on Friday after 46 years of operating.

A family business until the very end, owner Frank Panetta bought the store from his parents and ran it for 30 years to the days.

“In that time I’ve made a lot of friends and I have seen in some instances four generations of families come through,” Mr Panetta said.

“It was a heart-wrenching decision to make but after discussions with my children I decided to call it quits.”

Mr Panetta said the idea to close the store came to him on a trip to Italy with his children, now adults, where he realised there was more to life than working seven days a week.

“I thought, in the good health and condition I’m in, I could go ahead in life and do a lot of the things in life that I haven’t been able to do.

“I love my sport, I absolutely love the West Coast Eagles, apart from my family they’re the next best thing and I don’t plan on missing too many games.

“In the good days I’d be here 14 hours a day, 10 until midnight.

“I’ll have more time for the family and friends, instead of going to see family at some ungodly hour at night I can go at a normal time.”

Starting out as an amusement parlour, the store eventually changed its identity into a video rental before moving into the 21st century with DVDs.

“The public has supported us greatly, without the people of Harvey and surrounding areas, times could have been tough,” he said.

“I’m just grateful I’ve had the opportunity to do this, I’ve not regretted too many things, if any.

“But I’m not leaving Harvey, there’s not too many better places than here.”

While Mr Panetta was not closing for financial reasons, he urged everyone to shop local and support small business owners.

“If they don’t we could find ourselves like other little towns where they die and we can’t let that happen.”

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