The End of an Era: The Disappearance of Video Rental Stores

As I was out and about getting my errands done two months ago, I noticed something that never had crossed mind in a while.  As some of you may know, I used to work at Hollywood Video.  That day I was near the Hollywood Video that I worked at and saw that it was deserted.

It never had occurred to me that store would ever close, but the truth was it had closed without me even knowing it.  I knew that the retail video rental store business was in trouble because of Netflix, Redbox and on demand.  It just troubled me that this could happen because the main reason I loved working at Hollywood Video was my love of movies and sharing that love and knowledge with other  people.  I have been told by many of my friends and family that they rely on me to find out about movies they want to see.  It was people like myself working at these video stores that were always there helping people find that one movie that the title escaped their mind or a movie starring an actor or actress that is now the next big thing before that breakout role.

These days it seems that people are looking for convenience and not having to leave their home to rent the latest movie but unless you have Netflix, you may not be able to get that old classic that you have not broke down and bought or that is not available for sale.  Redbox doesn’t offer much in the way of older movies and sometimes does not have that one new release that you are looking for, and as for on demand, you are stuck at the whim of what movies the cable company want to put on. 

Not that this an official endorsement for Netflix but the only way to find a vast library of movies is through them.  Netflix is the business model when it comes to having the movie you want when you want it.  The only thing missing is the human element, and in my opinion that is one of the most important elements.  Sure, video stores had their faults: late fees, overpriced rentals, and out-of-stock new releases.  That is part of the reason why places like Hollywood Video, Movie Gallery, and the locally owned video stores went out of business.

I think, as a collective society, we are going to miss the days when we could run out to the video store and pick up a movie.

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One Reply to “The End of an Era: The Disappearance of Video Rental Stores”

  1. All of the video stores where I live are closing or have already closed. It’s sad that NetFlix and Redbox have taken over. Sure, these services may be less expensive (I think NetFlix is $8 a month?), but in all actuality, you get what you pay for. Like you, I’m going to miss the human interaction element and being able to go to the video store and actually browse through all of the movies.

    Sadly, everything these days is going to major corporations who basically have what will one day become a monopoly like Amazon.com. Not that it’s necessarily a bad thing, of course, but there will come a day in our life when we wish things were the same as they used to be.

    (Ironically, I just wrote an article about how things in this world are changing before I read this. It’s located here: http://www.tomslatin.com/everything-changes.html)

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