Hollywood Video Dead, Mourning The Death of Rental Stores

Ok, alright I get it, digital downloads and crap are the way of the future and I have to change with it or get outta the way. 
 
Look, thing is that when I was a wee lad the video store was a magical wonderland! My pops would take me in on a Friday afternoon on the way home from school and we could browse and discover new things that looked cool to take home for the weekend. For me the video store wasn't a place to go so you could get "insert title here", although some days we would stop by to see if anyone returned it since it was out of stock last time. The sense of discovery and surprise was the biggest draw for me as I grew into the movie nut I am today. Not to mention video game rentals! My brother and I never had much money as children and $40-$50 was an outrageous price (according to my parents) for electronic games. Trying the games out during summer break or lazy weekends when our homework was done enabled us to make sure we got the best games when birthdays or Christmas rolled around.  

It's not that I don't understand why video stores are dead (unless you count Blockbuster but word I hear is that things aren't good with them either). Late fees were a way for rental places to make cash when the movie wasn't in stock and the system just grew more corrupt in the 90s/00s. Likely the big complaint people will bring up is the availability of things: "They never have the one I want cause it's all rented out". That's true and it sucks, I was disappointed when "Ghostbuster 2" was all checked out the week after it came out, but it's part of what made you feel so awesome when it finally WAS in stock and when it wasn't there you just found something else. Braving the wild shelves of Bradley Video back in Campbell, CA I discovered some of my favorite movies and some crazy stuff that I would never have believed existed: "Empire Records" was never promoted that I saw and if I had to rely on Netflix or Xbox Marketplace for my rentals I would never have found that movie, "Captain America" in Italian is so bonkers weird that there is no way that would have come up via digitial or mail services unless the new Captain America came out and they lumped them together. 
 
There will always be people to inform the next generation of "Star Wars" and 80s horror pre-remake "Nightmare on Elm Street" or "Friday The 13th" but who is going to watch out for making sure the next generations know about "Universal Soldier", "Spaced Invaders", "Bebe's Kids", "Leprechaun" before he became a thug-rapper in da hood, and other forgotten gems? It's literally one of the saddest things I can imagine, a sterile environment where you browse movies by clicking hyperlinks on a website or pushing onscreen buttons via the rental box at the grocery store. Only able to see what the hottest titles are or a small selection of "classic" library titles. Some of the films I am talking about will be there but not all of them and so I dramatically proclaim that the death of video stores is the death of 3rd rate entertainment. We consume what "the man" tells us to consume from here on out.
 
In honor of the death of a great and mighty piece of who I grew up to be I raise my glass to Hollywood Video. You may have been #2 to the world and I may not have rented from you exclusively but you contributed to the man I became, to the men and women that others became, and sadly you will have to trust that tomorrow's movie nuts will be educated enough in your back catalogue by the old school.
 
Rest in Peace H-Wood
1988~2010

4 Comments
5 Comments
Posted by NinjaTard

Ok, alright I get it, digital downloads and crap are the way of the future and I have to change with it or get outta the way. 
 
Look, thing is that when I was a wee lad the video store was a magical wonderland! My pops would take me in on a Friday afternoon on the way home from school and we could browse and discover new things that looked cool to take home for the weekend. For me the video store wasn't a place to go so you could get "insert title here", although some days we would stop by to see if anyone returned it since it was out of stock last time. The sense of discovery and surprise was the biggest draw for me as I grew into the movie nut I am today. Not to mention video game rentals! My brother and I never had much money as children and $40-$50 was an outrageous price (according to my parents) for electronic games. Trying the games out during summer break or lazy weekends when our homework was done enabled us to make sure we got the best games when birthdays or Christmas rolled around.  

It's not that I don't understand why video stores are dead (unless you count Blockbuster but word I hear is that things aren't good with them either). Late fees were a way for rental places to make cash when the movie wasn't in stock and the system just grew more corrupt in the 90s/00s. Likely the big complaint people will bring up is the availability of things: "They never have the one I want cause it's all rented out". That's true and it sucks, I was disappointed when "Ghostbuster 2" was all checked out the week after it came out, but it's part of what made you feel so awesome when it finally WAS in stock and when it wasn't there you just found something else. Braving the wild shelves of Bradley Video back in Campbell, CA I discovered some of my favorite movies and some crazy stuff that I would never have believed existed: "Empire Records" was never promoted that I saw and if I had to rely on Netflix or Xbox Marketplace for my rentals I would never have found that movie, "Captain America" in Italian is so bonkers weird that there is no way that would have come up via digitial or mail services unless the new Captain America came out and they lumped them together. 
 
There will always be people to inform the next generation of "Star Wars" and 80s horror pre-remake "Nightmare on Elm Street" or "Friday The 13th" but who is going to watch out for making sure the next generations know about "Universal Soldier", "Spaced Invaders", "Bebe's Kids", "Leprechaun" before he became a thug-rapper in da hood, and other forgotten gems? It's literally one of the saddest things I can imagine, a sterile environment where you browse movies by clicking hyperlinks on a website or pushing onscreen buttons via the rental box at the grocery store. Only able to see what the hottest titles are or a small selection of "classic" library titles. Some of the films I am talking about will be there but not all of them and so I dramatically proclaim that the death of video stores is the death of 3rd rate entertainment. We consume what "the man" tells us to consume from here on out.
 
In honor of the death of a great and mighty piece of who I grew up to be I raise my glass to Hollywood Video. You may have been #2 to the world and I may not have rented from you exclusively but you contributed to the man I became, to the men and women that others became, and sadly you will have to trust that tomorrow's movie nuts will be educated enough in your back catalogue by the old school.
 
Rest in Peace H-Wood
1988~2010

Posted by Organicalistic_

fuck, there goes my fukin mvp card

Posted by iam3green

i just went there actually. i bought three videos there for only $5. i was disappointed that all of the games were gone. gamecrazy was closed. i wanted to buy more games than anything.

Posted by Everyones_A_Critic

I've only been to a Hollywood video once, but it was a nice place. It's a shame to see these stores all closing, as I had a similar attachment to my local Blockbuster as a kid. Had it not been for those Saturday night trips to the store, I probably wouldn't love movies nearly as much as I do today. Admittedly, I've downloaded from iTunes and Amazon quite a bit, and haven't actually been to a Blockbuster in quite a while (probably since December of last year). It still sucks though, since even the titan formerly known as Blockbuster seems destined for destruction in the near future. Seems like grocery/department store services like Redbox are going to be the only alternative to digital distribution and Netflix. 

Posted by NinjaTard

Oh, yeah, that's a point I forgot to make in my blog post is that I use Redbox and I have used Netflix before. I did a trial of Gamefly and it sucked because stuff is never available and it takes over a week to get the next game on the list once I send one back (and there is no reason to have 2 games at a time since I can't play two at once; I guess I could....but no). I have tried "the future of renting" and I'm kind of fine with it for new stuff, and somewhere down the line everything will be available digitally but how will you find it? I guess just clicking around and accidentally stumbling on Dolph Lundgren as He-Man in "Masters of the Universe" or "Gingerdead Man" or whatever. Another worry with digital media is how it will be tracked that I bought it. If I buy something on Xbox Marketplace or PSN and something on their side gets screwed up and they don't show I paid....I'm crap outta luck if I need to redownload it. It's essentially rerenting over and over because you can't save all those movies if you're a collector like myself and without video stores there is no such thing as Previously Viewed anymore except for the new releases in the Redbox or whatever. I mean, Netflix doesn't sell movies do they? Gamefly does and I don't worry about Gamestop or Best Buy yet so games will be OK but movies man, MOVIES! I'm rambling and sounding old...sorry