Bring back the rental

Would you trade a night of on-demand streaming for one last trip to your old video rental store?

Blame it on nostalgia but I feel a twinge of sadness when I think that my future children will not have the simple pleasure of going to a local video rental store and picking out a film to watch that night.

Grave stone showing the 'Blockbuster' logo.

I remember going to our local video rental store, an independent, when I was around 14/15 with my mum. We’d spend time making our decision – feeling a little annoyed if the one we wanted had a ‘back soon’ label on as it was already borrowed – and sometimes bump into someone we knew.

Blockbuster and its independent comrades have been replaced with on-demand streaming: convenience is at your fingertips but with so many films to choose from the at-home film-watching experience feels more like a routine rather than an event.

I appreciate and enjoy the library of films available through streaming services like Netflix and Disney+, but if I had the option of going to my old video rental store one last time – with its walls of DVDs, poster and cardboard cut outs – I wouldn’t think twice about taking it.


6 thoughts on “Bring back the rental

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  1. I hear ya Claire, I do miss going to brick n mortar stores too, but at the same time I love the convenience of streaming movies. I do still buy blu-rays of movies I love though.

  2. I didn’t start going to the cinema regularly until university but was a regular visitor to my local video shop. I love the convenience and choice of streaming, but do miss video shops.

  3. Totally agree. There was a used dvd store where you could trade in dvds at great prices. It was so much fun to be able to pick up fun movies at a bargain, but the community was great too – the staff and everyone just loved talking about movies. It’d be fun for it to reopen just for a day to visit again.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Katy. You’ve mentioned something there that I missed – the human touch. Like the community at your store, the owner of my video rental store used to share his recommendations and views.

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