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Old 06 November 2013, 11:46 PM
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Default Your late fees are waived: Blockbuster closes

http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/06/tech/g...act/index.html

Quote:
On Wednesday, DISH Network, which purchased Blockbuster in 2011, announced it was closing the chain's 300 remaining U.S.-based retail stores, as well as its distribution centers.
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Old 06 November 2013, 11:51 PM
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I'm shocked, shocked I tell you.
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Old 06 November 2013, 11:52 PM
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I drive by a Blockbuster every time I go to the bank and I always ask myself "How on earth is this place still open?"
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Old 07 November 2013, 12:03 AM
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According to the article roughly 50 "independent" (I'm assuming that means some of the stores are owned outright by Blockbuster and some are franchised or something like that) will remain upon, although I wager how long they will last without support from the parent company in an already dead market is questionable at best.

And this is probably it for home video rental brick & mortar stores, because honestly I cant remember the last time I saw a non-Blockbuster video store. The other chains went under decades ago and I haven't seen a "Mom and Pop" one in a long time.

ETA: From the article:
Quote:
In 1997, a man named Reed Hastings returned a late copy of "Apollo 13" to his local Blockbuster. He was assessed a $40 fee. Two years later, he founded Netflix.
Ouch.
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Old 07 November 2013, 12:10 AM
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There's a chain here in the Midwest called "Family Video". I know it's in Indiana and Ohio, but not sure where else. Their claim to fame is that they rent most of their movies for 50 cents to a dollar and they offer free movies and/or a discount if you stay away for awhile, to suck you back in. I haven't been there for a long time, but they seem to be still doing good business. They often occupy the same building as a pizza place, and I think it's a "family movie night" kind of experience they are promoting. The stores are independent from each other to the extent that a membership at one does not extend to another of their stores.

ETA: Wow, I just looked at their store locator and they have a lot of stores in the U.S and a few in Canada. More than I expected.
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Old 07 November 2013, 12:13 AM
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We have an indie rental place here, Video Rodeo, that caters to an alternative niche market: hipster college students who like to discuss (and watch) obscure/alternative/cult films, organized by director. They specialize in stuff you've never heard of and can't get on Netflix. It's actually a pretty neat place to hang out and meet and talk with other people who love film, which is the only reason why I'd go to a brick-and-mortar video store nowadays.
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Old 07 November 2013, 12:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cervus View Post
I drive by a Blockbuster every time I go to the bank and I always ask myself "How on earth is this place still open?"
There's a small shopping near not too far from us that has both a Blockbuster and a Radio Shack. I'm fairly certain it's going to form a "How are you still open?" singularity any moment.
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Old 07 November 2013, 12:54 AM
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We have Videorama that is still around (I'm sure the high amount of hipsters in the area that are probably really into renting VSH movies or whatever helps), they have at least a half dozen stores I've seen.

Reminds me of that South Park halloween episode about Blockbuster (it's basically a parody of the Shining where Randy buys a Blockbuster that does.. As well as you'd expect).

Here we go.. (Link)
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  #9  
Old 07 November 2013, 01:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cervus View Post
We have an indie rental place here, Video Rodeo, that caters to an alternative niche market: hipster college students who like to discuss (and watch) obscure/alternative/cult films, organized by director. They specialize in stuff you've never heard of and can't get on Netflix. It's actually a pretty neat place to hang out and meet and talk with other people who love film, which is the only reason why I'd go to a brick-and-mortar video store nowadays.
We had an indie store like that, called Video Central. It was located in an old brick building with a wood floor, so every time you walked in it sounded like you were entering a saloon in an old Western movie. Open 24 hours, with tons of anime, cult and independent films, plus porn in the back room, of course. Every month they would decorate their windows with cheap props in honor of the latest hit film to come out on DVD.

I really miss Video Central. It's some kind of trendy restaurant now, that I can't afford to eat at. And the windows just have plants.
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Old 07 November 2013, 02:16 AM
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We have a few Family Videos and at least one independent movie store which has great prices and an excellent selection of otherwise hard to find videos.
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  #11  
Old 07 November 2013, 03:44 AM
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There's one independent video store left in my town (two if you count the porn shop). It used to be in a building that was about the same size as the local Blockbuster (which closed two years ago) but about three years ago it moved to a tiny hole-in-the-wall. I think the fact that they also ship packages and sell disc golf equipment is the only thing actually keeping them in business: they're certainly not competing with Redbox or Netflix.
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Old 07 November 2013, 05:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cervus View Post
We have an indie rental place here, Video Rodeo, that caters to an alternative niche market: hipster college students who like to discuss (and watch) obscure/alternative/cult films, organized by director. They specialize in stuff you've never heard of and can't get on Netflix. It's actually a pretty neat place to hang out and meet and talk with other people who love film, which is the only reason why I'd go to a brick-and-mortar video store nowadays.
Back in the VHS days, there was a place like that in the town where I went to college. It lasted a surprisingly long time, too; it wasn't in the best location but people knew about it and it had a loyal fan base.

I'm surprised Blockbuster lasted as long as they did, and Family Video has recently branched out into pizza. FV is always hiring, and there's a good reason why: like Blockbuster, it doesn't seem to be a very good place to work.
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  #13  
Old 07 November 2013, 06:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
There's a small shopping near not too far from us that has both a Blockbuster and a Radio Shack. I'm fairly certain it's going to form a "How are you still open?" singularity any moment.
Always worth revisiting:

Even CEO Can't Figure Out How RadioShack Still In Business
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  #14  
Old 07 November 2013, 01:39 PM
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You tend to see independent mom-and-pop video stores in rural towns that don't have the same broadband access as in cities.

Even in those places, mom-and-pops are struggling against Redbox.
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  #15  
Old 07 November 2013, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E. Q. Taft View Post
From the Onion article:
Quote:
"If Sony and JVC start including gold-tipped cable cords with their products, we're screwed."


Honestly, I think this is it - their cable/connector wall is keeping them in business. If I need a specialty patch cable NOW for an audio gig, I'm heading to Radio Shack. The quality's generally not great, and I'd rather buy a Hosa or ProCo product from Sam Ash, Guitar Center, or an online specialty retailer if given the time, but if the show's in an hour and I need an 1/8" TRS to dual 1/4" TS splitter and can't drive 40 minutes to one of the large music stores, I can generally rely on the Shack. However, the sales staff is almost universally useless these days in terms of knowledge of their stock, and no, I don't want to look at cell phone plans.
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  #16  
Old 07 November 2013, 02:24 PM
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What musicgeek said - Radio Shack is often the closest and most convenient seller of connectors and cables, especially when you need them *now*. Sure, I can order USB cables from Amazon or some other internet retailer, but even in the last few years, Radio Shack has saved my bacon because they are close by. Not cheap, but that's a given.

There's also the benefit of the "touch and feel" for some items. Buying a case for a camera or a cell phone often requires bringing to phone for a test-fit. And the battery selection helps too. I don't see how or why Radio Shack needs such large and visible stores in shopping malls - the rent for those locations has got to be really high, and for what they are useful for, well, people would be willing to hunt them down some blind alley in a back corner of the mall.

Do people like having the choice for buying cell phones from a variety of providers? I've seen that at Radio Shack and Best Buy...
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  #17  
Old 07 November 2013, 02:41 PM
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We have Vulcan Video. Back in 1983, I can remember that VHS machines cost half a paycheck easily. None of us poor folk (students and the recently graduated) had one, so in addition to renting the movies, we’d also rent a machine. I wish I could find a picture of those industrial grade rental VHS players. You had to leave a check for $200 deposit to rent a player and two movies for 3 days. I can’t remember what the rental rate was, but we’d definitely have to go in together on the cost. So we could hook it up to my tv which was the largest at around 22”. Vulcan was the only game in town for years. Somehow they’ve hung in there and thrived by specializing in cult, foreign, and hard to find movies.

This is one of those things I want to remember when someone forwards one of those “good ol’ days” glurges. “I remember when I brought home less than $1000 a month and we decided to splurge and buy a VHS. We had to put it on our Sears revolving charge and pay out over six months. It weighed about 20lbs, but it had a real honest to god remote control. Tapes were about $5 a day, plus $2 if you didn’t rewind. Lord help you if one broke. Yep. Those were the good ol’ days.”
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  #18  
Old 07 November 2013, 03:15 PM
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Ours was a Gibson's hardware and variety store. In one corner they had a video tape rental business and rented video cassette players. My parents didn't buy a VCR until several years later, so we rented them as well.

I remember that every damn one of those players had a glitch (possibly lack of cleaning) that the top 3 inches of whatever movie you were watching would slant to the left at a 45 degree angle.

Yes, the good old days.
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  #19  
Old 07 November 2013, 03:23 PM
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Obviousl vieo on demand has hugely effected video store. However could the relative cheapness of DVDs also be a factor. Why rent for £2 when you can buy for £5?
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  #20  
Old 07 November 2013, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gopher View Post
Obviousl vieo on demand has hugely effected video store. However could the relative cheapness of DVDs also be a factor. Why rent for £2 when you can buy for £5?
Probably. Although I think there is a certain hesitancy among people about buying movies that they they know they are only going to watch once.
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