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Do you miss video stores?

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Do you miss video stores?

Old 08-19-22, 02:14 PM
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Re: Do you miss video stores?

We didn't choose anything. Hollywood studios decided enough was enough and wanted to cut middlemen like Blockbuster out of their profit streams.

Physical media would be far healthier today if left up to natural market forces. But Hollywood is a small, tightly controlled industry run like a cartel from the top.
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Old 08-19-22, 02:35 PM
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Re: Do you miss video stores?

Yes but mainly due to proximity. Growing up I had like 3-4 mom and pop stores within walking distance from the house. When I started working and making money in my teens I went the laserdisc route and had a laserdisc rental shop less than 5 miles away. Netflix came along when it was a disc rental company and that was that. Now I segued to renting from GameFly (they rent out 4K discs), RedBox, and I also have a local rental shop that's like 5-6 miles away from me. I am geographically blessed when it comes to my physical media rental needs.
Old 08-19-22, 02:47 PM
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Re: Do you miss video stores?

First of all, I think some of the tweeters numbers are bullshit. His "5000 titles" carried at the average store seems way high to me. For example, the last blockbuster in Bend seemingly only carries around 1200 titles, which seems more reasonable to me. I wonder if the original poster is using 5000 meaning total copies, with multiple copies of new releases counting independently. If we use that counting scheme then Netflix's library would be infinite, right? On top of that, when were all the titles at a physical store actually available to rent when you walked in? In that respect, streaming wins.

That being said, I do miss the local video store. Where one could go and peruse the available titles. Look at the box art and credits, but more importantly talk to fellow film fans and get immediate opinions and recommendations.
Old 08-19-22, 02:53 PM
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Re: Do you miss video stores?

I kind of feel bad when Netflix started and I started using their mail rental DVD service, I stopped going to my local Mom and Pop for well over a year. I figured out a system of always getting new releases by moving them to the top of my queue and then returning my movies by Friday to get them on Tuesday. But fucking Netflix figured out people were doing that and started throttling new releases. That’s when I quit Netflix rentals and went back to the Mom and Pop store. But it was already too late for them as they went under a year later.
Old 08-19-22, 05:03 PM
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Re: Do you miss video stores?

Like others have said, I miss them for the nostalgia, but for all practical purposes I would not frequent one if it reopened today. There are many better and easier options for watching whatever movie you're in the mood to watch on a moment's notice.

My favorite rental shop was a place with the generic name "The Video Movie Store." When you walked in, the shelves were all filled with empty VHS boxes randomly strewn about in absolutely no order at all. There was no alphabetization, no genre categories or New Releases section. The actual tapes were all stored in the back room. If you knew what you wanted to see, you'd ask the owner and he'd fetch it for you. Otherwise, you were encouraged to browse the shelves until you found something interesting. The owner was very knowledgeable and friendly, and would often help with recommendations if you only had a vague idea of what you were in the mood for.

Sadly, the place went under not long after the introduction of DVD, as the owner couldn't afford to upgrade his entire inventory and decided to just call it a day. The storefront was in a not-very-trafficked location and has actually sat empty ever since, with the outline of the original signage still visible. I get a sad twinge of nostalgia every time I drive past.
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Old 08-19-22, 08:46 PM
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Re: Do you miss video stores?

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
This sounds like a problem (or your blockbusters were tiny).
My wife thinks it's a problem.
Old 08-19-22, 08:49 PM
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Re: Do you miss video stores?

Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post
There are many better and easier options for watching whatever movie you're in the mood to watch on a moment's notice.
Lame rant/

If life were about "doing whatever you want on a moment's notice" it would have zero meaning and become a hell-storm of depravity. We have lost touch with existence at its most basic level. Maybe 'everything, everywhere, all it once' is where' we're meant to go in an evolutionary sense, but I miss the days of having to function within a system, rather than expecting the system to function at my beck and call.

/Lame rant
Old 08-19-22, 08:59 PM
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Re: Do you miss video stores?

But we're talking going into a video store and paying to rent a physical copy of a movie in a format that was usually much worse than the streaming options we have now. Don't go all zyz on us here.
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Old 08-19-22, 09:54 PM
  #34  
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Re: Do you miss video stores?


Also, I recall Blockbuster never carried "Unrated" versions of movies like Basic Instinct or Body Evidence. They just stocked theatrical rated content.
Another reason you could not call them a "Real" video store.

Video USA was a local store with one guy working there 24/7 and he would reserve or keep a copy of the latest movie for me and maybe the price was higher but it was not bad for the time.

Then I got a black box and taped all the movies from ppv and stopped going there and he went out of business in 1998.
Old 08-19-22, 10:05 PM
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Re: Do you miss video stores?

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
But we're talking going into a video store and paying to rent a physical copy of a movie in a format that was usually much worse than the streaming options we have now. Don't go all zyz on us here.
I'll cop to a little zyz now and again.

Yes, streaming is better in every way than past models, but with it, we've lost at least one of the virtues; patience.

/oldfoolrant
Old 08-19-22, 10:43 PM
  #36  
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Re: Do you miss video stores?

Blockbuster was a family oriented video store. If you wanted porn, you could just go to your Mom and Pop store. They made that clear from the time they opened.
Except that their mission was to put all of those Mom and Pop stores out of business, and they largely did. They had deals with the studios to get tons of copies of the new releases which was what most people went in for, and the smaller stores couldn't compete with that.

I miss when video was something new and exciting, but I don't miss media being so expensive that you had to go rent it and then bring it back. When I got into laserdisc there weren't many places to rent them; they were at least cheaper than new release VHS tapes so I blind-bought a lot of movies and when DVD came out with discs that were priced insanely low in comparison, I just never rented again. Right now I definitely miss going out to shop for movies, as the retail environment here has become utterly pathetic- largely thanks to Best Buy putting most of the real media stores out of business by underpricing them, and then deciding they didn't really want to sell that stuff anyways and reducing their inventory to the point where it's not worth going in their stores anymore.
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Old 08-20-22, 06:38 AM
  #37  
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Re: Do you miss video stores?

In some ways, yes.

When I was going to college, my regular video store was a mom-n-pop job not far from the campus. It was a fairly small place, but it was packed to the gills with VHS tapes. It was located in a sort of strip mall/shopping center and had two floors. But every bit of available space in it was filled with movies. It was mostly well-organized by genre and alphabetical... ACTION, COMEDY, DRAMA, SCI-FI, HORROR, on the first floor; FOREIGN LANGUAGE, ADULT, DOCUMENTARY/EDUCATIONAL on the second floor. Trying to remember exactly how it was laid out... the second floor was smaller the first floor, and there was a staircase in the middle of the store. The floor on the second level was mostly open, and there weren't as many shelves or tapes up there. And I was always a little paranoid while I was in there, fearing the second level would collapse. Hell, I can't even remember the name of the place; just something bland and generic like KL Video.

But this was before the before (or at least the early "Wild West" days of it) when you had reviews and information on any movie, actor, or director immediately available at your fingertips.

So it's like I'm browsing through the shelves at that store, and I see a VHS box for ZOMBIE with the tagline "We Are Going to Eat You!" and a horrific, desiccated zombie on the cover, and I have no idea what that movie is but I know I want to watch it. While the IMDB was probably around in a nascent form at this time, I didn't know it existed, and didn't really have any way of finding out anything about that particular movie without actually watching it. At this time, there weren't really any good ways of discovering movies you might want to watch outside magazines (I was a regular reader of FilmThreat) or the odd book that had movie reviews or other descriptions of obscure, out of the mainstream films.

So, yeah, in some ways I miss that sense of discovery and mystery, when all I had to go on were my back issues of Film Threat, a couple of movie guides from the school library, and sun-faded VHS boxes.

Last edited by Josh-da-man; 08-20-22 at 06:27 PM.
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Old 08-20-22, 06:54 AM
  #38  
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Re: Do you miss video stores?

And, speaking of Blockbuster, I never really understood that place. They built these huge stores, but they were always sparsely filled with movies. Every one I ever walked into looked like this:



The catalog areas would have, maybe two or three movies to a shelf. And even the new release area on the back wall looked like it did in the upper right corner of the photo, where there was more empty space on the shelves than movies. I never understood why they had these huge stores when they could have put their actual inventory in a space one-fourth of the size.

And their selection was terrible. Like, I'd browse through the horror section and it's just a random collection of stuff. They'd only have like like less than half of the Halloween movies, sequels without the original entries, three or four random Hammer titles, completely missing classics like Dawn of the Dead, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, or The Thing (both the original and the John Carpenter remake). It's like their shelves with random cast-offs from the inventory of the mom-n-pop places they ran out of business (which was probably the case). No attempt to even curate a decent selection.

With my old college video store, I could walk in and tell the hippie-looking guy working there that I heard about this animated Japanese movie called Akira, and wondered if they had it, and he'd point me to the section between puffs on his cigarette. "Should be up in the Foreign section, at the end where we keep the Japanimation."
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Old 08-20-22, 08:42 AM
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Re: Do you miss video stores?

The video store that I frequented from childhood to high school was called T&M video. They had a great selection of VHS and I rented all kinds of older films for $1 like all the Rocky movies and Ferris Bueller's Day Off, but all the employees smoked and you smelled like an ash tray after leaving there. I don't miss smelling like smoke after leaving. They closed around 2003 and I started going to Movie Gallery that was in my local Wal-Mart. I mainly bought more discs than I rented from there. They closed around 2006 and I started using Blockbuster disc delivery in the mail, but their website was horrible and at one point I couldn't even edit my queue. I switched to Netflix disc delivery after a year and I still have it now. I moved from Nashville to Lebanon, TN in 2017. I discovered that Lebanon still had video stores. There was a Captain Video and a Family Video in Lebanon. I started going to Family Video almost every week on my day off and I loved just walking around and looking at the movies. I would spend 45 minutes to hour there every week just browsing and talking to the clerks and spend $5-10 on rentals. You could rent older titles 2 for $1. Both of the Lebanon video stores closed in the fall of 2019. Family Video decided to close the store and rent the property to Dollar General.... I miss Family Video, but my location closed at the right time. I wouldn't have went during The Pandemic.
Old 08-20-22, 10:17 AM
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Re: Do you miss video stores?

My Blockbuster always had tons of new releases. If you wanted a new release, BB or Hollywood was the place to ensure you'd find a copy. For anything other than new releases, is when I'd head to the mom&pop places. Especially horror/exploitation.
Old 08-20-22, 10:44 AM
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Re: Do you miss video stores?

I loved going to my closest Mom and Pop store which had every type of movie you can think of. I don’t miss the feeling of shame renting certain types of movies and having the fear of judgement from the person working there.
Old 08-20-22, 01:55 PM
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Re: Do you miss video stores?

Originally Posted by Bluelitespecial View Post
I loved going to my closest Mom and Pop store which had every type of movie you can think of. I donít miss the feeling of shame renting certain types of movies and having the fear of judgement from the person working there.
Your privacy is assured with streaming.

Here's an ad for a two way dildo because we thought you might like this kind of stuff.

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Old 08-20-22, 03:46 PM
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Re: Do you miss video stores?

not at all. the convenience of online buying or streaming is way more productive than going out to video stores anymore.
Old 08-20-22, 04:31 PM
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Re: Do you miss video stores?

I don't miss Blockbuster, but I do miss the local shops. I miss record stores more, though.
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Old 08-20-22, 11:24 PM
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Re: Do you miss video stores?

Originally Posted by TomOpus View Post
One place was called Kensington Video. It was kinda out of the way for me but I had a FWB who lived near it. Thankfully she liked odd movies, too.
Kensington Video was great, but like you it was a bit out of the way for me.

My eventual favorite was Blowout Video, over in Point Loma. It was on the way home for me, and they had a section of single titles, usually obscure and boutique labels (this is in the DVD era, by the way). You could rent the latest Anchor Bay release of some obscure 70s horror flick. I miss that ability. Now when I buy from boutique labels like Vinegar Syndrome, it's usually a blind buy and I've been burned on numerous occasions. I wish there were a way to RENT those titles instead of buying them, I'd save a bit of money.

Originally Posted by Alan Smithee View Post
Except that their mission was to put all of those Mom and Pop stores out of business, and they largely did. They had deals with the studios to get tons of copies of the new releases which was what most people went in for, and the smaller stores couldn't compete with that.
Yeah, you beat me to it. Once Blockbuster was able to get their movies for free from the studios while Mom and Pop had to fork out $100 for one copy of Die Hard, the writing was on the wall for who was gonna survive.
Old 08-21-22, 10:26 PM
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Re: Do you miss video stores?

Not as much as I used to.

I realized that as an adult, I now have an extensive Physical Media collection and can watch anything my heart desires.

Although Choco Tacos were readily available at Blockbuster Video
Old 08-22-22, 09:39 AM
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Re: Do you miss video stores?

Originally Posted by Paff View Post
My eventual favorite was Blowout Video, over in Point Loma. It was on the way home for me, and they had a section of single titles, usually obscure and boutique labels (this is in the DVD era, by the way). You could rent the latest Anchor Bay release of some obscure 70s horror flick. I miss that ability. Now when I buy from boutique labels like Vinegar Syndrome, it's usually a blind buy and I've been burned on numerous occasions. I wish there were a way to RENT those titles instead of buying them, I'd save a bit of money.
Blowout was great (I forgot their name and was gonna look it up). The main office for the stripper joint, Showgirls, was above it. I remember finding an old childhood movie favorite of mine there: Caltiki the Immortal Monster. I think it was a boot because the case cover was a Xeroxed copy of the laserdisc case. They even had a cabinet expressly for obscure movies. And new releases were by the far end of checkout counter. It was easier for me to go there since I was going to the beach all the time. I lived out in El Cajon so it was freeway close. I remember, to my horror, towards the end of their existence when they just put all the movies together. It was harder to find my stuff. Browsing was more time-intensive.
Old 08-22-22, 09:54 AM
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Re: Do you miss video stores?

Was blockbuster around in the era when new releases were a hundred bucks a pop? I thought mom and pop stores survived well into the era where home releases were priced much cheaper than that?
Old 08-22-22, 10:12 AM
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Re: Do you miss video stores?

My understanding is that until the dvd era, most movies still had a rental exclusivity period before vhs tapes were made available to consumers at sell through prices. In other words, if you wanted new release tapes for your store, you had to pay the higher price.
Old 08-22-22, 11:08 AM
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Re: Do you miss video stores?

I miss the atmosphere, but there is still an independent rental store relatively nearby if I want to go down that route again.

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