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August 28, 2014, 12:09:38 AM
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Author Topic: Does anybody else miss renting?  (Read 1068 times)
Chainsaw midget
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« on: May 06, 2014, 10:14:01 PM »

I'm not talking about netflix and I'm not talking about redbox. 

I'm talking about a good old fashion videostore, where you could go in and you only had the slightest clue what you were looking for.  Maybe you wanted to see a Western or maybe you wanted to see a comedy, but other than that ... no idea. 

So you looked at the boxes.  The boxes had awesome imaginative covers (that were sometimes better than the actual movies) and the back of them told you the plot.  You didn't have a review or star ranking right there to look at.  You had to make a judgement call as to whether Bloodsucking Freaks was better than the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  I mean, you'd heard Texas was a classic from some friends, but what do your friends know? 

Or maybe one of those times you DID have something specific in mind... but they were all out of copies.  So again, you wander up and down the isles, picking up boxes looking them over until something jumps out at you. 

That is what I miss.  I miss NOT knowing what something is going to be and the joy of discovery.   

Anybody else? 


...


Dagnabbit when did I start getting old? 
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« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2014, 11:04:17 PM »

I'm lucky, or stubborn, because I still go to the local Hasting's and browse the rental shelves at least once a week.
Netflix would be cheaper, I know, but I just enjoy this way more.
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Jack
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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2014, 07:19:13 AM »

Yeah I miss those days of wandering the back isle of Blockbuster where they kept the direct-to-video stuff with all the marvelously misleading cover artwork.  I found a few gems back there.  I found a bunch of other stuff too.  And they had little signs with the employee's picks for good movies, so if you saw a list with something you liked you could maybe check out one of their other favorites.  And just the whole atmosphere of being surrounded by other folks that were going to spend their Friday evening sitting in front of their TV set.

What I don't miss is driving back in the next morning to drop it off though.
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The Burgomaster
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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2014, 08:43:00 AM »

I don't miss renting very much.  I worked in a video store for several years in the 1980s and I got to take home whatever movies I wanted for free.  The only rules were:

* I had to wait until the store closed to grab the new releases (we had to give customers the opportunity to rent them)
* If I took home a new release, I had to return it the next morning so that it would be available for customers when the store opened

Plus, I got to order movies whenever our sales rep. came in.  Somehow, we ended up with copies of movies like THE WORM EATERS and THE CORPSE GRINDERS.  I wonder who ordered them?  Wink

After I quit that job, I only occasionally rented movies.  I used to buy them instead.  Then when DVDs took over the market, I got rid of all my VHS tapes and started a DVD collection.  I don't buy too many movies anymore (maybe about 20 per year at most).  I'm mostly a Netflix guy now.

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« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2014, 05:39:44 PM »

Yes. Movie night used to be more of an event when you had to drive to the store and browse the shelves looking for something that caught your eye. Like Jack said, though, returning them was a pain.
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Lyedecker
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« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2014, 08:26:54 AM »

It had its advantages and disadvantages.

The fun was browsing the aisles for the right movie, and there was always a bit of a thrill in that I never quite knew what I was getting. Once I got home, I was basically stuck with that movie and had to sit it out, even if terrible. Nowadays, I can start a film on netflix and switch to something else if I don't like it. There's something nice about having that freedom, but I also think it's given me a shorter attention span for movies.
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JaseSF
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« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2014, 03:42:45 PM »

Yes, I miss renting and there just being rental places around. Oh, you can still find them places but they're much rarer nowadays. Thanks to renting VHS tapes, I saw a wide range of films from the 70s, 80s, 90s, and before - more than I probably would have ever seen otherwise. It used to be a family or friends ritual to go to the video store and browse for some movies to pick up. I recall really enjoying the browse and search for the movie oftentimes more than the movies themselves. You'd search through all these different VHS box covers and of course, often the video box art was so much better than the actual movie. Then you'd get or make popcorn and watch the films with friends and/or family. The rewinding VHS and returning them the next day was an hassle so I often rented over the weekend during which many local stores let you keep the movies until Monday many of them being closed on Sunday so of course, many times I'd actually watch some of the movies more than once. I also rented an awful lot of wrestling videos  back in the 80s and 90s, primarily the 80s and saw a wide variety of wrestling from the 70s-80s WWWF/WWF, NWA, Canadian International Wrestling, and elsewhere. You could find obscure oddities on VHS and direct to video releases back then some of which are still not on DVD. The whole experience of renting actually involving some form of socialization is largely what I miss, the act of going out with friends and family, often times chatting with the video store clerks, etc.
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« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2014, 08:04:13 PM »

I miss it.... to an extent.  There was a certain amount of joy in seeing what you could find.  Now things are easy to find but that slight excitement of what was available versus what you wanted to see.  Lead to some interesting times and a certain amount of oh wow I didn't think it would be there but was available. 
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« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2014, 08:29:13 PM »

I'm lucky, or stubborn, because I still go to the local Hasting's and browse the rental shelves at least once a week.
Netflix would be cheaper, I know, but I just enjoy this way more.

There's something to this as well. Having paid a bit more for the movies, one was a bit more inclined to finish watching them to get one's money worth, even if the movies were sometimes awful. Still, it was fun watching with friends and family.
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VenomX73
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« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2014, 09:55:58 PM »

Yes - in a way I do miss the 80's mom and pops VHS rent stores.

Looking at all those bad movie VHS box covers, couldn't wait to get home and watch it.
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messedup
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« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2014, 06:10:47 AM »

I still rent movies pretty often. I visit my local videostore pretty often to see what new movies are out or if they have some interesting used movies to buy.
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« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2014, 05:57:30 PM »

I guess I miss the stores more than the actual renting of movies.  Just walking up and down the aisles having no clue about what some of these movies were like and only reading the back description and cover art for information.  Its the same with book stores going out of business.  I often find it strangely hard to browse just using my kindle's amazon app.  The recommendations don't often match up with what I'm looking for. 

Sadly it corresponds to movie covers(posters)  just getting lazy.  Nothing to really get the eye interested anymore. 
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Lyedecker
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« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2014, 09:41:48 PM »

Nowadays, the closest thing I can get to matching the old school rental experience is browsing the VHS racks at thrift stores and the occasional yard sales, but even then VHS is becoming less and less common. Yes, I still have a working VCR, which my wife is baffled I keep, as most of our VHS has since left. I dunno, DVD is better, I guess, but finding a cheesy b-movie gem on VHS, particularly if one I haven't seen in years, is an experience that can't be matched.
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claws
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« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2014, 03:18:08 AM »

I miss renting movies. I spend most of my teen years at video rental places. Lots of fond memories and good times.
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voltron
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« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2014, 07:18:47 AM »

I agree with you guys. It was really awesome when you'd stumble upon a great movie (good or bad) without knowing too much about it as far as reviews go in the pre internet days. For example, I discovered Black Christmas on VHS before it became so well known (not bragging though, just stating a fact). Totally blew my f**king mind. So yeah, there's a lot of nostalgia there for the old VHS stores.
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