Eppler: Why we'll miss movie rental stores

Eppler: Why we'll miss movie rental stores

The Hastings stores in Lubbock will be closing this year with liquidation now underway. It was the last major retailer in town renting movies after Blockbuster and Hollywood Video both closed years ago. We're not just losing a business and jobs - it's a piece of our culture gone forever.

The personal touch of video store has been forever replaced by the convenience of downloading and streaming right to your mobile device or TV.

And I get it. It'll be weird explaining a video store someday to my son someday: "Wait," he'll say, "you had to actually leave the house to get the movie you want? And if they didn't have it, you just don't get to watch that movie? Crazy!"

For me, there was something so satisfying about strolling the ailes, looking for something that might strike you in the moment. Or even better, finding a movie was checked out and battling for a returned copy up front. There was a Darwinist survival of the fittest hunter-gather mentality to it.

That's why when I got hired at a Hollywood Video in 2000, it was basically fulfilling a childhood dream. I'd always wanted to work at one.

The video store was a place where you'd see people you know, and you'd talk about the movies you were renting (unless you were getting something scandalous).

As an employee, I loved helping people find what they wanted and even discover new things they'd love - so much that it made up for the annoying customers.

Now, all that's gone. You sit on the coach scrolling through endless choices where nothing looks good and you wind up settling for the latest Adam Sandler excretion and hating yourself after.

I'm genuinely sad about it. And not just because i have nearly a thousand DVDs at home about to be obsolete. Although, there's that.


 

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