Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Do you rent from brick and mortar stores anymore?

On my way home recently, I passed by the video store nearest me, a Family Video, and their sign said something like "Many titles rent free."

"Boy, they must be desperate," I thought to myself. Then it occurred to me - I could not for the life of me remember the last time I went into an actual video store to rent a movie. Nowadays, if I'm going into Blockbuster (a company I tend to dislike), I'm going in there to see if they're selling rental copies dirt cheap.

And heck, a lot of times you can buy new (as in never sold) DVDs dirt cheap. Rummaging through Best Buy recently, I was delighted to discover they were having a sale on Warner Bros.' terrific two-disc sets. I picked up Heat and The Searchers for $20, which would not have purchased me ONE of those titles in the past. As an added bonus, I found the two-disc A Fish Called Wanda for $7.  

Of course, it has long been established that I'm far from Joe Average as a moviegoer. I'm more like Joe Extraordinary, or Joe Offbeat, if you prefer. Since I see most movies in theaters, I rent movies mostly to catch up on older titles. And when it comes to older titles, the selection in most brick and mortar stores is piteous.

For catalog titles, Netflix is a dream. And on the rare occasion that I need a new movie in a hurry, Redbox works fine for me.

The only reason I can think of to go to a brick and mortar store is if you're going with someone, particularly a child, it might be fun to shop with them and let them pick out a title. But such circumstances rarely apply to me.

So do you go to brick and mortar stores anymore? If so, why? If not, why not?  Do you foresee brick and mortar stores crumbling down soon? Will you miss them if/when they do?


Allison Dickson said...

I have many fond memories of trips to the video store when I was a kid, back when the shelves held a wide and bulky array of VHS tapes. When DVD hit big, I was an adult and seeing most movies in theaters or buying them. My parents were big video store fans because they NEVER saw movies in theaters and they only ever really browsed the new releases section. Once I was old enough to go by myself and buy my own tickets, I became a theater junkie and renting lost its appeal (unless we were looking for cheesy horror). Ken and I had a Hollywood Video membership out here ten years ago, but we stopped using it not long after. After Netflix, we never looked back. I can't say I'll miss the brick and mortar stores as they were replaced with something that is actually better for consumers, the environment, etc. We're saving a lot of time and gas not having to drive to the vid stores to get movies and then driving back to drop them off. All I have to do now is walk to my mailbox. And don't even get me started on late fees. lol

Anonymous said...

So to I Allie. I remember tags hanging with numbers on them with the move cover (VHS) in and we'd wade through and get them for 99 cents each. We'd rent four or five on Friday night get pizza and have a movie night with all four of us. Those were the days. But now it's Netflix and I love it! Do I miss going to the place not really. I like going online and creating my list and adding new ones as friends and family suggest them ... new sometimes being old in my case.

Scott Copeland said...

As a former manager of a video store, I must defend my former employer... except that I can't. Granted, I managed in the late 90s. Now, with less money (as I now have kids) and no employee free rentals, I find myself renting rarely. I am not committed to seeing things as soon as they are released. If I want to see it, I usually see films the way they are meant to be seen, on the big screen. Otherwise, I depend on my array of cable channels: Starz, HBO, Sundance, IFC, and TCM to see films I want to see.

Anonymous said...

I go to Family Video all the time. I don't have cable in the bedroom but I have a nice flatscreen with a DVD player. So I rent for when I want to lay in bed and watch a movie. This week Family Video had all new releases, 5 nights, for a buck. Definitely better than renting from Movies on Demand. So I got four last Friday and finished my last just a bit ago. I also am a Blockbuster Rewards member but their prices are outrageous. It's $5 for a DVD rental. You can buy a DVD at Family Video for $7.