Monday, July 16, 2012

Adventures in video rental ...

Today I joined the Video Vision family. It seemed so novel, like buying a Walkman on eBay or taking a break dancing class at the YMCA. It's the last of the last of places where a person can walk in, study a wall of DVDs, and trade legal tender for the opportunity to have brief access to the films. On top of that, it's not a chain. It's just a small shop, the unlikely pairing of movie rentals and tanning beds and it's located in a strip mall next to a massage parlor, Fashion Bug, a Chinese buffet.

This whole thing couldn't possibly be more adorable.

I used to rent stacks of movies from Blockbuster. I mean stacks. I think I saw almost everything made in 2004. By the time the shop closed, I hadn't been there in years. Still had unpaid fines, probably. And when Mr. Movies closed, I still had a copy of the final disc from "The Wire" in my trunk. Still do, actually. Then, what? I guess we watched what was on TV or On Demand. Streamed Netflix. I've watched things on my phone and laptop from iTunes. I finally broke my RedBox seal and that's great and whatever, but one day I felt a panic wondering how I'd see, like, "Adventures in Babysitting" ever again if it wasn't a) streaming from Netflix or on Amazon; b) at the Public Library.

I'd forgotten video stores existed. What a concept.

Chuck's had a Video Vision card for something like two decades, his dad even longer. I'd been planning on getting a membership for days, actually getting excited about it. It was a total thrill to walk through this thin space scanning the New Releases, flipping boxes to read short plot summaries, building a pile to meet any whim that might strike on this hot and lazy Sunday.

I can totally get behind technology and the changing world and not owning physical copies of movies, music or books, but there is something convenient about being able to rent movies from a video store. And man is it fun.

1 comment:

Sproactually said...

Ahh, the Paradigm shift, we had an old bank in town that became, wait for it.. The first national video bank!! I don't believe you can rent a movie anywhere local now but the red box. I like how I can rent the movie in Maine and return it in NY, I just do it because I can.

Only the Library provides that tactile feel of picking a movie anymore.