If you’re a movie fan and want to depress yourself sometime, just fire up your search engine of choice and try looking for video rental stores in your area (along with the surrounding areas). Chances are you’ll find either nothing active or one lone holdout serving multiple cities. Everything else is just libraries and rental kiosks. It’s even become a cliché to joke that video stores don’t exist!
Thankfully, Canadian rental store Eyesore Cinema decided to do something about it. Starting in 2011, they started International Independent Video Store Day (aka Video Store Day). I’ll let them explain in their own words:
“This international event will be celebrated and observed the third Saturday of October each year. It’s purpose is to promote the idea of supporting your local, independent video stores. Stores owned and staffed by human beings who can be relied upon for reviews and recommendations and who truly love what they do – otherwise, why else would they still be doing it?”
Participating stores celebrate by offering various discounts, sales, contests, freebies and other special events to entice customers. Each story has their own promotions, so one store might have free goodies and another might strictly focus on discounted rentals. This year, Eyesore Cinema will be offering:
– $1.00 rentals for premium members
– $2.00 rentals for basic members
– $3.00 off all in stock DVD and Blurays (They both sell and rent DVDs)
– VSD only super deals on select titles
– Every single rental comes with a super-coupon for future use
– Prizes, loot bags, giveaways, treats and some extras that we are legally bound to not advertize.
If your local video store isn’t participating, go out and rent some stuff anyway (but be sure to let them know about the event). Some might scoff because they feel streaming is the inevitable future, but they can go screw themselves. Netflix’s numerous outages have more than proved that conventional rental stores still have their place. If you end up getting a scratched DVD?, at least you can exchange it at the store for something else. Can you do that when your streaming service craps out? I thought not. Let’s not forget how when a streaming service goes down, it inconveniences ALL the customers and not just one. I know this was touched on already back in this year’s Record Store Day promotion, but theses supposedly “obsolete” stores keep people employed and we can’t simply let them fall apart and just assume things will work out for the staff. We often hear people wanting the government to create more jobs, but why don’t we stop eliminating jobs first?
We here at Gravedigger’s Local 16 are doing our part by shamelessly appealing to your nostalgia with an episode of our podcast devoted to video stores and this collection of classic VHS box art:
Also, here’s a little something from More Tricks and Treats:
“And thanks to the full views of Billboard magazine, I was able to find two amazing issues from the 80’s dealing with video stores’ Halloween promotions (along with tons of vintage ads for now-defunct VHS companies’ horror output).”
If that doesn’t sway you, check out these free downloadable movie commentaries:
You can raid your music collection for material to play while you watch movies in order to get That Sync-ing Feeling.
Happy Video Store Day!
Special thanks to Eyesore Cinema for use of the image!