Changing Times: Local video rental stores almost gone……

Posted: February 7, 2010 in Computers, Movies
Tags: , , , , , ,

Well, I thought this appropriate, since I am a big Netflix supporter and fan, but it’s absolutely amazing to see long time video stores closing.  As it stands, the closest video rental store (a Blockbuster Video) is about 4 miles away.  The closest Movie Gallery/Hollywood Video is soon to be 12 miles away from me, once the stores in Lakeville and Farmington finish liquidating.

This year has been particularily rough on the Burnsville area, as we have lost both Blockbuster Video locations (they closed last month), and (this one I missed) the nearby Savage location of Hollywood Video closed as well.

In the 80s and 90s, I lived in Prior Lake.  We had 3 movie stores in Prior Lake, all owned by the same company.  Main Avenue Video & Tanning.  In the mid 90’s, they consolidated locations into a new, bigger store located at 13&42, and in the late 90’s, that location was bought out by Video Update.  Due to mismanagement of Video Update, they were later bought during bankruptcy by Movie Gallery, which was later bought by Hollywood Video.  Also, in 1999/2000, Blockbuster Video came into town and so did Hollywood Video.  Now, all that remains is the Blockbuster Video on 13/42 in Savage.  Burnsville no longer has any video rental stores, whereas at one time they had either 3 or 4.

But that got me thinking, when was the last time I was in a video rental store?  What with Redbox charging $1 a night, and Netflix providing all you can eat plans starting at around $10 a month, it seems kinda silly to spend $4-$5 for a rental from Blockbuster.  The last time I was in a Blockbuster was in 2005 because I was a Total Access member (and not a very profitable one at that, I got 30 movies a month for $17!).  Of course, that program has since been altered (and I got a “thanks for being a customer, but goodbye” email from them).  Of course, this program is exactly why Blockbuster is struggling so badly today.  They have a DVD By Mail service simular to Netflix, but I have always gotten better service than Netflix (and the “see you later” email still leaves a bad taste in my mouth).

So, if you still have a video rental store in your neighborhood, it might be time to start saying “goodbye”.  Within the next 10 years, we can probably also start phasing out DVD by mail (or DVD in general) in favor of internet VOD.

As I type this, as a matter of fact, I am watching an episode of South Park on Netflix’s “Instant Watch” service over the Roku box.  I can do the same thing on my PS3, laptop, computer, etc.

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