So my town's Blockbuster is closing ...


Movies


... And truthfully, I am not all that sad. Back at the zenith of its power, Blockbuster earned my ire by their ridiculous terms. The clerks at my local one were nothing short of insufferable, unhelpful, and generally movie-geek versions of the Comic Book Guy character from The Simpsons. I hadn't rented a movie from them for about 15 years, since long before Netflix, Redbox, and OnDemand. I would rather BUY a DVD then rent from them. So it was with a certain amount of glee that I combed their shelves and bought three seasons of Battlestar Galactica for $40 yesterday.

Just an idle question. Is my experience with them a fluke or did others find this company really hard to deal with? And did their smug attitude towards their customers lead to their eventual downfall, or is it just an evolving paradigm of technology that makes the brick-and-mortar video store obsolete? There are several 'mom-and-pop' video stores still functioning that managed to eke out a living in the shadow of Blockbuster in my area, and I am curious if they can survive or even now thrive with Blockbuster folding up their tent. Any thoughts?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

The mom-and-pops will probably not be able to compete against Netflix, which is a significant factor in Blockbuster's retreat. Very few video places are still open in my area (though the Blockbuster still is). About half of the other places have closed down recently.

For what it's worth, I think your Blockbuster customer experience isn't any more typical or unusual than any other video rental experience. Some places have snotty staff, some don't. Wait a little while and the staff snottiness will probably change since the jobs probably turn over fairly often.


I can't speak for everywhere, but the Blockbuster here is actually fairly nice. The employees tend to be cheerful without bothering you, and do try to warn you off of dud movies if you make it to the counter with one.
(little do they realize- I *like* watching sci-fi dud movies..)

Myself I'm sad to see them close. The one here has movies for $2/day which means even a supposed-to-be-good-but-sucks one doesn't hurt very much.

I really don't want Netflix as I have other things to do with my bandwidth than watch movies.. so I guess it'll be Pay-per-view and HBO for me.

-S


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

We haven't rented anything at Blockbuster for years. Nothing bad happened to me personally (though I know someone that used to work there and their manager pay is kind of a joke), we just find Netflix more convenient and cheaper, plus with the online content it's easy to watch random movies too.


I had three Blockbusters in my area and now all are closed, as well as one out of two Hollywood Videos. There are probably 20 Redboxes scattered around town and at least one of the new Blockbuster machines, which is the same as a Redbox. And no, I had not rented anything from Blockbuster in years, not even when they went with the "no late fee" deal. I have also never rented a movie or game through the mail either, though I may now that the rental stores are disappearing. I also do not think there is a single mom-and-pop rental store left in my town.

The Exchange

Red Box...if they ever expand to Australia the DVD store like our Video Ezy and Video 2000 will find them a real threat. Especially considering they rent out at 2$ per DVD. The regular shops do that once a week - not every day like Redbox.

Still you dont get to go in to your local Redbox vending machine for ex rentals (unless it is with a crowbar). Nor can you shop there for icecream, drinks and candy and certainly not old movies that you missed and have only now noticed years later in the weekly shelf.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32

yellowdingo wrote:
Still you dont get to go in to your local Redbox vending machine for ex rentals (unless it is with a crowbar). Nor can you shop there for icecream, drinks and candy and certainly not old movies that you missed and have only now noticed years later in the weekly shelf.

True, but you get a better selection of old movies from Netflix and better prices and selection on drinks and ice cream from a convenience store. That was the problem with Blockbusters: it didn't really do anything well once the Internet arrives on scene. It was a couple half a$$ed ideas with nothing exceptional.


I don't think brick-and-mortar video rental stores will go completely away. At least I HOPE they don't. I do think they will get smaller, which will make obscure movies harder to find. Unfortunate.

My experience with Redbox is that it's incredibly cheep ($1 per day here), but the selecton is horrible, and there is always a line, so it takes a while just to see what's available.

My experience with Netflix is that the videos are scratched about 1/3 of the time, and waiting for a replacement is SLOW because it depends on snail-mail (USPS). Watching Netflix through my Xbox was an even worse experience. All of the available movies were low-budget B movies, or movies that were 20+ years old. I cancelled my Netflix acct. after less than 1 month.

My experience with on-demand cable movies was somewhat better, but its slightly more expensive than renting the DVD, and you don't get the special features/deleted scenes, which I like to watch.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Part of why I don't do the rent-by-mail or online rentals is because I like chatting up movie geeks at the local. I've been lucky enough to find a few small M&P shops where the clerks were just as into terrible, schlock horror and weird foreign stuff as me. If movie rentals become an entirely online venture, I probably won't be seeing very many movies in the future.

My personal experience with Blockbuster has ranged from, "Hey, did you see that new Chan Wook Park movie?" to, "These are due back Saturday. Thank you." I don't recall every having to deal with snotty employees and I've rented movies from Blockbusters scattered throughout five states. Maybe you just got a bad batch?

I think its funny you mention the "Comic Book Guy"-type Blockbuster employee. I once saw my brother refuse to let somebody rent a terrible movie while he was working the counter at our local M&P video rental joint. It was some big-budget studio thing and he went into this diatribe about the awful directing, acting, etc. and then suggested the customer rent The Last Dinosaur (1977). They did. It was awesome.


Jason Rice wrote:


My experience with Redbox is that it's incredibly cheep ($1 per day here), but the selecton is horrible, and there is always a line, so it takes a while just to see what's available.

And this is why you go to their website first, check what is in stock in all the area boxes and then reserve ones you want with your credit card so that it will be waiting in the machine for you to pick up.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm bummed that my local Hollywood video is closing. I always bought their used DVDs for $6. They always replaced them if they turned out to be damaged so we got a lot of good movies for pretty cheap prices. The staff was always very friendly and polite in my experience.

As for Netflix, they are great. We rarely have damaged DVDs and they send one out immediately when they are. They have also been polite and helpful the few times we have called about something.


Jason Rice wrote:
I don't think brick-and-mortar video rental stores will go completely away. At least I HOPE they don't. I do think they will get smaller, which will make obscure movies harder to find. Unfortunate.

I actually think there is a viable niche for the smaller video stores. They managed to eke out a living under Blockbuster, which dominated the market for years. Now that there isn't a Wal-Martish video store to go to, some folks who enjoy strolling the aisles instead of clicking a mouse will start coming to them instead(I would think). Kind of like what's happening with Borders/Barnes and Nobles. The ones in my area seem to be ailing with Amazon stealing their marketshare, but the smaller independent bookstores are doing as well as always, if not better.

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