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September 03, 2006

昔馴染みの店が閉店した

川崎駅前・・・と言うにはけっこう駅から離れていて、
国道15号線に近いといったほうがいい。
そういった場所に、平和通りという通りがある。
沖縄の「平和通り」は観光地として有名だが、
こちらは地味ににぎわっている商店街という雰囲気だ。

昔は『川崎国際』という、名画座系の映画館があった。
『ゴジラ』や『ガメラ』をオールナイトで一挙上映したりと、
マニアックなリバイバルをする映画館だった。
たまにミスタウン(現チネチッタ)であぶれたアニメ映画を
やってくれることもあった。

その通りにもうひとつ、行きつけていた店があった。
『サントイス』というおもちゃ屋である。
ここは、面白いことにおもちゃだけでなく、家電品や
生活雑貨なども取り扱っていた。
ちょっとした量販店という感じだ。

中学生の頃は、ここで何度か『ゲーム&ウォッチ』を買った。
その後は特に通うようなことは無かったが、
高校三年のころ、『ファミリーコンピュータ』が発売された。
卒業してからになるが、サントイスでファミコンを買った
ここではファミコンソフトが3,800円くらいで買えたと思う。
確か定価が4,500円ほどの頃だった。
オイラが買い始めた頃は、『ベースボール』とか
ドンキーコング』とかくらいしかなかったところに、
ギャラクシアン』が出て、さらにしばくして
ゼビウス』が発売されることで、「ファミコンブーム」の
基礎が出来上がった時代だ。

毎週ソフトが発売されるので、自然に毎週水曜
サントイスに通うようになった。

サントイスは、ゲームソフトを買うついでに、生活雑貨が買えたので、
けっこう便利だった。

そうやって2~3年も通っていれば、すっかり常連になってしまって、
しかもゲームしか買わない20歳前後の兄ちゃんだから、
店員さんも印象に残っていたのだろう。
さらに言えば、オイラはいつも、ほぼ同じ格好をしていたんだよね(笑)
冬なんて、ジャンパーは壊れるまで同じものを着続けていたし。

セガのマークIII機を、たぶん『北斗の拳』か『スケバン刑事』をやりたくて
買ったときに、おばあさん店員に話しかけられて、
二、三話したのがきっかけで、何人かの店員さんと親しく会話するようになった。

PCエンジン』やら『メガドライブ』やらを買うようになった頃には、
「今度出るソフトだけど、売れるかな?」とか、
店長の奥さんに聞かれたりするようになっていた
知ったかぶりして、雑誌の受け売りを語ったりしたけど、
へたをするとサントイスの売り上げ推移に、多大な打撃
与えていたかもしれない(笑)

しかし、『プレイステーション』前後のあたりから、小売状況が
かわってきたらしい。

家電を扱っていたくらいだから、当然扱うと思っていた
『3DO』は売り出さなかった。
これに関しては、結果的には良かったわけだが、
オイラ的には「ゲームを買うならサントイス」という図式が
壊れてきた頃だった。

プレステ』『サターン』は扱っていたが、通勤に京急を使っている
オイラは、駅前にヨドバシができてからは、あまり顔を出さなくなった。

そうこうするうちに、サントイスは家電とおもちゃをやめて、
生活用品だけでやっていくことになってしまった。

オイラが結婚して1~2年後くらいのことだから、まだ20世紀のころだね。
それでも8年くらいやっていたわけだが、生活用品なら、
近所の百円均一で買ったりするので、まったく足が遠のいてしまった。

親しくさせてもらっていたので、『ドラクエ』や『FF』は並ばずに買わせていただいていたし、
本当にお世話になっていた。
まだゲームを扱ってたいら、『DSライト』や『どうぶつの森』など、入手困難だったものも、
比較的早く入手して、子供に感心されていたかもしれない(笑)

いつの間にか2階へ上がれなくなってしまったりしていたようで、
細々という言葉を当てはめたくなる状況だったのだが、
先日、8月28日に遂に閉店してしまった。

事前に情報を貰っていたので、閉店前に一度くらい顔を出してみようかと
思っていたのだが、時間がとれず、結局いけなかったのが残念だ。

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サントイス懐かしいです。
もうなくなってから10年も経ったことに驚きました。
小さい頃はよくヨネザワのミニカーを買ってもらったり、小学生の頃はよくドラクエのバトル鉛筆をよく買ったものです。
いまや怪しいアジア人のお店だらけになってしまいましたが悲しい限りです。
隣にあったホーミーもなくなりこれも時代の流れかなとしみじみ思います。

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