Aside from seeing half a dozen or so films in cinemas in a year, I still rent DVDs every now and then - atleast half dozen times in a year, maybe more, though only 1-2 each time.
The only DVDs I own are movies and TV shows I REALLY like and that's only 30 or so. I'm very selective/picky about 'the editions' of DVD I get for a flick too. So I still tend to rent or loan DVDs where possible, preferably in most cases, to downloading. I only download if it's hard to find (hand forced unfortunately, including with many classics/good flicks :/) or a newer flick I know will be kind of below par, yet made ALOT at the box office. As a rule I don't dl Aussie films, though I've found it hard to catch a few in cinemas etc... so not watching Aussie films at all recently, doesn't help anybody I guess - Though 'The Proposition' is still on my 'to see' list. I still believe in the artists getting their money back kind of thing and even in renting the money goes back somehow and just as much if not more so, 'the recognition' so in turn, more success for the film, so hopefully, if I liked it, more films of that kind are made, more by that director, involving that script writer, starring that actor etc...
When I rent it's usually for a special occasion like with a friend or choosing a movie to watch with family. Even kind of tradition. Though in both cases I notice the DVD places I go to disappoint a bit, with the lack of classics and even just half decent flicks, instead having all these 'new/er releases' alot of them the most ordinary pics you've never heard of - and for good reason too! Hence, being 'forced' to seek downloads on some flicks - I may be part of the vicious spiral I guess, but I know many times I've asked for such flicks at DVD stores and they never have them, stopped stocking them, DVD broke/stolen/not replaced etc...
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sadly one of my video stores right near where I work is closing down
the good thing is I get to pick up ex rentals for a real cheap price, never been to a closing down sale before so I have been going every couple days and looking real hard for good titles. they started closing last week I believe and there's plenty of titles left though. at $2 a pop for weeklies u just gotta keep going back!
the reason for the closing was the lease was up at the end of the month and the store isn't doing well rental wise.
in 2 years or less there won't be any left I bet, and that's sad. going to the video store was a part of growing up.
x2. My local Blockbuster closed a couple weeks ago too. Yeah, alot of memories not just that store, but all video stores, shops of varying forms, the whole I guess, ritual you kind of go through if you are a teen planning a night in with friends or what not. The kind of freedom to seek out or browse all the titles at the stores, often far better variety than these days, always something to find. And those 'Pre-Internet' or even '90's Internet' days, the Video store was still the premium outlet for you selection of movies to few at home. And ofcourse, these were the days, like Network TV, where we didn't have 'the choice' of today - so were slaves I guess 'to the TV Schedule,' 'ad breaks were part of life' and Video Stores were again, often places where you 'found' and even 'discovered' movies, rather than on an internet or what not. Movies Theatres were the prime, exciting night out entertainment, but Video was the night in - And the kind of 'ritual,' late arvo, early evening, going to the local shop with your mates, browsing the Videos for the one we could decide on or friend best recommends, maybe buy some snacks or more likely snacks from the local nearby shop or even supermarket - all the healthy stuff, including fair bit of Coke I bet. And some night at whichever friend's house it is - It could be a birthday or what not, so you'd order too a pizza or some kind of take-a-away treat, ofcourse all/mostly funded by the parents, even indirectly through pocket money or some such, lol.
Ahhh and all the dodgy old 80s movies, like 80s horror. Younger people can even see through pop culture, film and TV, media from the last few decades tapped into this - even some of those 80s horror films. So even younger people can tell what the culture was like even 15 years ago. The internet generation it bypasses so many of these formalities and restrictions of the past, both for better and for worst.
That's kind of another sad thing here too - I mention all the associated, or well, other local business who benefit from a Video Store - especially in communities. Local shops, shopping centres, food take-aways, restaurants, video arcades even Cinemas etc... all benefit from a Video Store being there. I mention video arcades - we see them all but dead too - There's Leisure Island, the odd Timezone and maybe some others and they are still often located adjacent to the local cinemas - but they've clearly been impacted by the rise and proliferation of game consoles last 20 years. So ofcourse there's a wider trend, but all these things chip into a ritual that may become increasingly, 'once was,' as it is all enabled in or even left to people's homes and their 'Home Entertainment.'
A case study for example - we had a smaller local cinema in the heart of the old part of the town/suburb and next door was a game arcade, ofcourse, and next to there a landmark local restaurant. Once the cinema absorbed by a bigger chain then closed down for the chain's bigger chopping centre based cinema-plex up the road, we saw the games arcade shut down and now we're seeing the iconic restaurant with alot less business that it used to - I hear worrying things about it now. All the area cinema area once there has been converted into some kind of work recruitment business and the arcade space next door for STILL for lease, though there might be something nondescript there now. And during the day, the parking lot full of cars - It's just one big parking lot, or may aswell be. And ofcourse the suburb had 2 cinemas either end, but come the consolidation we just have the one and not the variety - Though I guess atleast we have an improved and convenient cinema - one more competitive with others of similar ilk in neighbouring regions. Cinemas in shopping centres has long been the go, trend anyway - our region was just a little longer getting there. What's worse is where that other cinema was - that's just one big parking lot, overgrown with grass and a kind of bizarrely isolated Chicken Treat in the far corner there struggling for business no doubt, but has still hung in there for years since. So that 'whole space' including alot of Chicken Treat's business, has shut down and abandoned. Obviously the upgraded shopping centre too centralises alot of these entertainment areas in the radius - but it seems such an awful waste of space - you think they could build something half decent there, especially with all the parking space and something that would help Chicken Treat's business.
It's awful hearing about the Video Store business winding back significantly or even dying in the cities and suburbs (Not yet in regional areas, small communities you wouldn't think?), but when one thinks about it, it's only part of the wider trend.
BTW Should note - Ace Cinemas, atleast, are branching out into digital video rental booths or some such based at their cinemas? I read something about this, so entering into competition with Video Stores etc... but they kind of have to, to 'compete with on-line' or what not. I can't find a link/press release on it, but I wouldn't be surprised if some of you have heard or even seen this at their local cinemas?
the store that's closing is a Blockbuster but there are no Video Ezy's in my area anymore. There was at least 3 from memory and another 5 different named ones that have shut with 3 more left in my area. I hardly rent, I blind buy but do remember going to them a lot to rent in the past. I also remember they used to be much bigger and now they are pretty cramped, there's one though still standing which is still pretty big. This sale that's going on is still going but every other time I have found out one is closing its already too late I miss out.
but kids growing up now won't even know or remember what a video store is when they grow up, sad times. people are becoming lazy, you can rent movies without ever leaving the damn couch. there's TiVo/DVR, Xbox 360, PS3, Foxtel boxes and so on to rent them if they're not on Tv. there's also in America Red Box (I have seen a couple of our version around, same price as store rental prices) as well as Net Flix which is pretty good and cheap as there are 2 ways of using it - streaming on the net or through the mail. My Yankee cousin was telling me its like $10 a month or something for unlimited access. I however prefer going into a store and browsing through their selection!
the problem here these days is rental prices are high, I bet its hard to make a profit. the payments/lease, paying employees and so on. how are people expected to make a living when rental prices are so high?! even home living is expensive - water, electricity, gas and so on are going up. times are getting worse and it's not just video stores closing, I went to Melbourne and there was a place I went to which had a bunch of empty store lots mixed with opened ones.
there was 4 cinemas in Adelaide city, all gone! well there is 1 but its mainly for foreign movies.
shopping centres are the only place to see them, and independent ones.. In SA at least.
the world is f**ked like that!
I feel so bad for Video stores considering I grew up visiting one every weekend in the late 80's and all of the 90's! I so miss those days of VHS stores and new releases when I was a kid. I think a combination of foxtel, dvds and finally the internet killed them. Nowdays you see the "rent a dvd" machines you find in grocery stores have largly replaced the good old video store.
Yeah, especially bolded part - that's part I was talking about. The old ritual we talk about - You actually had to trek out, on your feet, standing in aisles browsing, walk across to the corner shop next door, walk back home, or via car. It was all part of the experience, outing. But it was something many of us enjoyed. There was a 'natural anticipation' and even feeling of 'consumer power' even if ironically, we didn't have the power of choice we had today. Same goes for TV too, that era, when they 'premiered' movies. TV 'used to be' the last port of call, or what's the phrase, the last opportunity in the cycle people had to catch a movie, record it on VHS or what not, IF it wasn't somehow in your local video store.
I remember so many of the first movies, great movies, I was introduced to - were, or must've been, premiers on TV, just 18 months or so after the cinema release as too many a rental with friends. Introduced to films like the first 3 Star Wars via TV, as too the first 2 Indiana Jones movies etc... in the mid-late 80s - Watching those kinds of movies 'felt like' you were watching them in the cinema, as engrossed as you are. Same with renting Videos and DVDs - First time I saw the Shining at a friends place about a decade ago - awesome - it was dusk, setting sun, 6-7pm in the evening outside, light fading through window, room getting darker, suited and enhanced the atmosphere of being engaged to this Kubrick classic.
Sorry I got off-track, but the ritual or what not of going to the store to browse and select your evening's entertainment, as too associated preparations, ordering the take-away/fish and chips/pizza next door, getting snacks from the neighbouring corner shop. ALL those businesses benefit too and suddenly that little area of commercial is a hive of activity even evening, especially weekend evenings, with youths and families stopping by to rent, get their snacks and even dinner, if prep for their big nights in. So a number of local business may be engaged, via this ritual. All those businesses can be affected too, particularly the small ones.
Yeah, I think I too have contributed for similar reasons, as too probably many. It's a difficult thing though - As Cyborg touched on too - It is a bit of a cycle which I noticed at my store too. There seemed to correlate - As 'more choice,' more than ever, became available through the internet in the early-mid 00s there was less choice in Video Stores. That may explain itself as consumers were turning towards the internet then - but as with all industries, when you face that kind of competition you need to adapt, like 'specialise' and 'appeal to the niche' though arguably, 'the niche' and 'regulars' have likely shrunk too - and that niche/regulars probably includes us, who again can find all they want, as soon as possible, via the net.
Personally, I kind of had a rule, still do - IF I knew it was in the video store, which I had almost memorised my favourites on the shelves, or even in the Library, nowadays Uni Library, then that will be 'my first port of call' THEN the Internet. I have transgressed a few times going 'net first, BUT in-part, again - that's because there was a point where Blockbuster and it's collection started shrinking and losing some of it's classics. The local Network Video lost some DVDs too and ending up closing. Video Ezy I haven't visited much, not a member, as it's other side of highway, but atleast that is still going - must be the most profitable store in area, somehow.
Actually, with Blockbuster, I think they were downsizing across the board - so our local Blockbusters closing may be hastened by the wider business shrinking.
I think there is a thing too - As we've all touched on - And following Cyborg's point - DVDs, now Blu-Rays too, still have their appeal ofcourse. The internet, for now, still has it's limitations. For instance 'downloads' are still my 'last resort' as much for the reason as I still prefer to see movies on 'the relative big screen' and at my house that's still my TV, with the comfort of the couch and no other distractions. Though I know that gap is being bridged via xbox's and computers plugged into TVs, Smart TVs and what not - Many people already watch 'their downloads' on their TV. But there's still 'the separation' at my house, old fashioned set up, so the area of primary viewing, TV and Movie viewing is still the TV, with the computer still the poor alternative, for now.
And in wider terms - still goes 'size of screen' and 'quality of atmosphere' for me, so the scale, by and large, is still : Cinema (If the movie is likely worth it)>Rental, loan or even borrowing from friend on a TV at home or friend's house>Viewing on computer.
Cinemas have been hanging in there, the 3D fad has really helped things, as too the 'Gold Lounge concept' (the latter being more in the specialised, improved customer service, concept I was thinking of) and being in shopping centres as we discussed, really integrates them into the kind of 'enforced night outs' people are on anyway, re: shopping as too shopping centres being a hive of congregating teenagers and kids, bored out of their brains - especially Thursday nights. You can't beat the big screen of cinemas, comfy chairs, and depending on the audience, usually ok for me, little distraction and window of escape from the worries of your surrounding world/life, atleast for those 2 hours - which movies are kind of meant to be.
well maybe not gone completely but it may cause some people to travel the extra miles to get to one as the store numbers will be limited. and even then people might not be bothered and just get them by other means. there once was a time where you could go to any area 5-10 minutes away, and now people may struggle to find one.
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