Listening to the most recent Beastcast I got to thinking about (and, sure, feeling a little nostalgic for) the days of making trips to brick and mortar video game rental spots. I live in perhaps one of the most densely populated counties in the US and actually had quite a few choices when I was younger as to where to get my fix. There was a Blockbuster on my way from school that my mother would stop at every Friday so that I could peruse the isles for something to entertain me for the weekend. I remember seeing all the SNES boxing sitting on the shelves and hoping against hope that they would have the manual with them. There was also a Palmer video (that later became a Hollywood Video, that later became a West Coast Video) within walking distance from our house. And, of course, inventory varied by location so I would have to convince my mother to drive two towns over to rent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters. Yes.
Once I sat in a nearby pizza place, waiting for the food and thumbing through the pages of the Street Fighter Alpha 2 manual in anticipation of plopping in front of the family TV and pulling off whatever limited combos I was capable of at the time. I ended up with about 7 SNES carts of my own, but renting gave me access to such a vast array of games that my family never would have been able to purchase. $5 and 3 days.
When the Dreamcast came out the West Coast Video (of which there were several...and I live on the east coast!) near me started renting consoles with a $100 deposit. I never did persuade my parents to throw down the cash for that, but I probably ended up grabbing some PS1 game and one of the loose basketball cards from the machine near the exit.
So, does anyone have any rental place memories and/or anecdotes? Seems like it was eons ago, was probably more money than it was worth, but I still miss a lot of the feelings tied to it if that makes any sense.
Edit: I goofed. My neighborhood Palmer Video became a West Coast Video and then became Hollywood Video. Most stores that weren't Blockbuster became Hollywood around me.