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An Ode to Blockbuster and Other [Video Rental Stores]

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Posts

  • The WolfmanThe Wolfman Registered User regular
    HD channel showing HD show: full screen
    HD channel showing SD show: bars on the side
    SD channel: 50% of the time it's full screen. 49% of the time it's bars on the top/bottom. The last 1% is rare, but it's bars completely around with the show in the middle of the screen.

    I guess it would be fine if I watched nothing but the HD channels. But some of my favourite networks either don't come in HD, or Shaw stupidly doesn't carry the HD version. Not that I particularly care much. But it means I'm watching a mix of the above, and like I mentioned, it's like a roulette wheel.

    I've also got a plasma hooked up to just a regular SD box (sacrilege, I know), so it gets the SD variant above. If I set it to 4:3 then I have grey bars on the side always. 16:9 is stretch-o-vision. And finally I can use Zoom which puts it full screen, but cuts just enough of the screen that it interferes with the cable guide and cuts off the bottom channel listing. I keep it on stretch because I don't really give two hoots about it for regular TV anyways. But I'm also slightly more anal about the whole phenomenon on the plasma because the bars leave IR marks. I know I shouldn't be worried about burn in, but I still pop it on zoom every so often. Better safe than sorry.

    "The sausage of Green Earth explodes with flavor like the cannon of culinary delight."
    PSN: TheWolfman64 3DS/Pokemon Y: 0774-4614-4065/NNID: the_wolfman64
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    I'm not sure what people are getting at with it being 'difficult' at all to set up the proper aspect ratio on a TV.
    Assuming it's an HDTV, with the content source (cable, BluRay player, etc) hooked up through HDMI or HD Component, I have never had any sort of issue getting something like that set up correctly. TV shows will either fill the screen or have black bars on the sides, depending on how it was filmed, and films will either fill the screen, or have black bars as they display as large as possible while preserving the original ratio.
    Are there HDTVs that aren't a 16:9 ratio? Every 720 or 1080 resolution TV I've ever seen has been 16:9.

    The only thing I could see having an issue with would be non-anamorphic DVD, which is just all around terrible anyway.

    I'm sure I'm missing something here.

    Many cable boxes will present SD channels as a 4:3 480p source over HDMI by default, which many televisions will stretch to fill the 16:9 screen by default.

    And many people are too fucking stupid to hit the "Aspect" (or "Zoom" or whatever) button until shit looks right.

    Or they simply prefer stretched video to pillarboxing, which is possibly more terrible.

    Not that I'm judgmental on this. ;)

  • KyouguKyougu Registered User regular
    I had the "pleasure" to work at a mom and pop store for more years than I care to admit (though luckily I went to school, graduated and now have a regular office job) and most of the stories that been told here echo my own experience.

    One of the things about late fees in my store was that customers would actually be sent to a collection agency for not returning items. They would be given two weeks to return things, if not they would be charged a base late fee+cost of the item. . This would be after repeated phone calls (god I hated doing those calls) and multiple certified letters advising that this was going to happen.

    So many people would come in angry because they were trying to buy a house/car/anything dealing with credit and they were surprised that they had an outstanding balance with a collection agency. Got yelled at so much.

    Also, that job made me be as kind as possible to any retailer. Not just because it's the decent thing to do, but how customers treated us severely affected how lenient we were. I had no trouble erasing late fees for customers who were nice, or waving a payment if they didn't give me attitude. If they did though, I was all by the book.

    valhalla130
  • GoodOmensGoodOmens Registered User regular
    The reason I mourn the loss of video stores is that walking around a Blockbuster on a Friday trying to pick out a movie to watch at home with your girlfriend was like a super-awesome date in high school and college. You could spend an hour joking around about stupid cover art, walk out with a romantic comedy and some sort of action thing and a couple bags of M&M's, and spend a very happy night together

    The best part was, though, that it didn't even matter what movies you got. If it was a good enough date you wouldn't end up really watching them anyway. On account of the Frenching.

    The horrible, awkward, slobbery, heavenly high-school Frenching.

    It's not the same saying "hey, what's On Demand?"

    steam_sig.png
    IOS Game Center ID: Isotope-X
    valhalla130DasUberEdwardRocketSauce
  • Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    OH heres a good one from my mom and pop rental place.

    They called me out of the blue one day around 96-97 (I was still a teenager back then and on the young side) and politely asked me if I had switched the innards of their Star Trek: Starfleet Academy SNES game with the innards from the TNG game. Which I had not! Apparently I was one of the last people to rent that game.

    They showed me the copy when I went in there too, it didn't seem to me to be a label switch!

    3DS CODE: 3093-7068-3576
  • TubularLuggageTubularLuggage Registered User regular
    Okay, I understand now.
    My cable does that with SD channels as well, where some will be full screen 4:3 with bars on the sides, and some will be windowboxed with black bars all around (16:9, but still within a 4:3 range). For those, I typically just leave them as is (black bars on the sides or all around), and keep the TV set for HD 16:9 content (for some reason, my TV won't let a windowboxed picture zoom to fill the entire screen. The sides are basically unusable for 4:3).

  • CaptainPeacockCaptainPeacock Board Game Hoarder Top o' the LakeRegistered User regular
    @matt Your tale has me flashing back to my CompUSA days. I'm gonna now go and find a drink...

    Cluck cluck, gibber gibber, my old man's a mushroom, etc.
  • BursarBursar Hee Noooo! Registered User regular
    My parents were always resistant to change in their video ways. My first DVD player was... well, okay, technically it was our PC, but for actually watching a movie it was my PS2, and even then it was only in my room so we never had a DVD collection. They did (and still do, I'm sure) have an extensive tape collection, mostly home-recorded things with minimal labeling that were left untouched in the back of the cabinet for years and years. I spent a few summers slowly going through this collection, and discovered that they had painstakingly recorded several seasons of The Muppet Show, editing out the commercials (once in a while they'd mess up and I'd get to see some awesomely bad early '80s late-night ads). Just hours and hours of Muppets, crammed onto tape. Fantastic.

    I do believe that the major part of their resistance was that you couldn't record to DVD. Nowadays, with DVRs and on-demand video streaming from your cable service that isn't an issue, but there was a good decade or so in which they had to always have combo DVD/VHS players. Dad finally came around when I bought him a boxed set of one of his favorite Mystery! series and pointed out that five discs was the equivalent of twenty or so cassettes. Even then, we always had a couple of "everyday" tapes just for recording stuff from day to day.

    GNU Terry Pratchett
    3DS FC: 0810-0331-1324 | PSN: Wstfgl | GamerTag: An Evil Plan | Battle.net: FallenIdle#1970
  • RiusRius Registered User regular
    Bursar wrote: »
    I spent a few summers slowly going through this collection, and discovered that they had painstakingly recorded several seasons of The Muppet Show, editing out the commercials (once in a while they'd mess up and I'd get to see some awesomely bad early '80s late-night ads). Just hours and hours of Muppets, crammed onto tape. Fantastic.

    That's awesome =) I have a VHS tape rattling around somewhere that's just six hours of a Whose Line marathon on Comedy Central.

  • SmurphSmurph Registered User regular
    Last time I went into a Blockbuster the only movies they had for rent were along the outer wall and maybe one small section of freestanding shelves. The rest of the store had been dedicated to selling movies and video games. I was there to pick up a pizza next door and was bout 5 minutes early so I went in. Halo 4 had been out for like a week, and I actually wanted to pick it up, so I asked if they had any copies. No, they did not. The newest game they had seemed to be Assassin's Creed 3, which had been out for about 2 weeks by then. It's really weird to see a business that's already failing move from a market they have cornered into a highly competitive one, and then completely half ass the effort.

  • AtomikaAtomika not a robot. does not eat bugs!Registered User regular
    Smurph wrote: »
    Last time I went into a Blockbuster the only movies they had for rent were along the outer wall and maybe one small section of freestanding shelves. The rest of the store had been dedicated to selling movies and video games. I was there to pick up a pizza next door and was bout 5 minutes early so I went in. Halo 4 had been out for like a week, and I actually wanted to pick it up, so I asked if they had any copies. No, they did not. The newest game they had seemed to be Assassin's Creed 3, which had been out for about 2 weeks by then. It's really weird to see a business that's already failing move from a market they have cornered into a highly competitive one, and then completely half ass the effort.

    As one of the last CEO's last-ditch efforts to save the company, they turned Blockbuster stores into a kind of clearing house for shitty overstock books and reproduction movie memorabilia.

    Because I so often want to pay $40 for a framed print of Scarface, or a hardback copy of a Steig Larsson book.

    emnmnmemcdermottzagdrob
  • emnmnmeemnmnme Heard about this on conservative radio:Registered User regular
    They had framed Muppets movie posters at the Blockbuster near me.

  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    Kyougu wrote: »
    I had the "pleasure" to work at a mom and pop store for more years than I care to admit (though luckily I went to school, graduated and now have a regular office job) and most of the stories that been told here echo my own experience.

    One of the things about late fees in my store was that customers would actually be sent to a collection agency for not returning items. They would be given two weeks to return things, if not they would be charged a base late fee+cost of the item. . This would be after repeated phone calls (god I hated doing those calls) and multiple certified letters advising that this was going to happen.

    So many people would come in angry because they were trying to buy a house/car/anything dealing with credit and they were surprised that they had an outstanding balance with a collection agency. Got yelled at so much.

    Also, that job made me be as kind as possible to any retailer. Not just because it's the decent thing to do, but how customers treated us severely affected how lenient we were. I had no trouble erasing late fees for customers who were nice, or waving a payment if they didn't give me attitude. If they did though, I was all by the book.

    Blockbuster sent me to collection back in the 90s. They had no record of a movie I had returned on time, and no amount of "hey, I've never returned a movie late, why would I just keep one?" would convince them. A friend was working at another store in the neighborhood and told me that store had a huge theft problem, hundreds of VHS tapes had been stolen, so it's pretty likely mine was one of those.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • AtomikaAtomika not a robot. does not eat bugs!Registered User regular
    I once had a tape I rented stolen from me. It was sitting on the hood of my car, I went in my mom's office building to give her something, came back out and it was gone. The case was still there, but it was now empty.

    I called up Blockbuster.

    "How much to replace a tape you've lost?"
    "The fee is $60."

    On the way to Blockbuster I swung by the local Wal-Mart and picked up the same movie for $8, then I opened it and put in the case.

    I never heard anything about it.

    Mike Danger
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    I once had a tape I rented stolen from me. It was sitting on the hood of my car, I went in my mom's office building to give her something, came back out and it was gone. The case was still there, but it was now empty.

    I called up Blockbuster.

    "How much to replace a tape you've lost?"
    "The fee is $60."

    On the way to Blockbuster I swung by the local Wal-Mart and picked up the same movie for $8, then I opened it and put in the case.

    I never heard anything about it.

    I'd straight-up tell people to check Wal-Mart. Because usually even if I was charging them the pre-viewed price (which I could do if it was a movie we had pre-viewed copies of in stock), it was usually still higher than what Wal-Mart charged.

    Though I'd remind them that "the juice" was still running. So, like, if you're gonna swing by Wal-Mart to replace it you should do that today. Because tomorrow it'll be another couple bucks in fees, and eventually you eat up any savings.

    EDIT: Wait, it was if we were still PV'ing copies out that I could PV it to you. If it was something we were down to the last couple of (including old movies), or it was too new to PV out, I had to charge replacement cost. Though "had to" implies adhering to policy of course. We didn't individually barcode DVDs or anything, so nothing was stopping me from grabbing a pre-viewed copy off our shelf to check in as yours instead (and ringing you up for it)...if I felt like not being a dick. Or if I felt like being a dick, you just got charged whatever our system listed as the replacement cost. Which usually wasn't cheap. But I'm not gonna be a dick if you're not a dick, because I know damn well that even if I charge you the replacement cost, we're never getting a replacement...I'd rather have a movie back in that case.

    mcdermott on
  • RT800RT800 Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    The old mom-and-pop video rental place I used to frequent before Blockbuster came to town used to let me have some of their movie posters and promotional displays when they were done with them.

    I remember when I saw this bad boy and almost lost my shit as a kid:
    jurassicpark.JPG

    I needed this for my room. Hell, I still do.

    RT800 on
  • NocrenNocren Lt Futz, Back in Action North CarolinaRegistered User regular
    edited February 2013
    Man... When I lived in Texas (Copperas Cove if you're curious) way back when... There was 1 video store in the entire town. They had a WALL of NES games and a kid's section where I got to rent and watch Robotech again (after drawing a Valkyrie fighter from memory at school, and having not seen the series since its initial airing). First time I played Final Fantasy was when I rented it there. Place was called Movie Man and had a cheap off-color Cyclopes as a mascot (yellow/red instead of blue/yellow). They redesigned their store when they got competition from a Blockbuster knock-off (same colors, same font, same hometown, but not Blockbuster) and added a mini-arcade (I remember a Dr Who pinball machine and non-Capcom upgrade for Street Fighter 2 along with a band new Neo-Geo cabinet) to compete with the other store's slightly larger arcade (darkened back room, T2 pinball machine, Pool table, Sunset Riders and another Neo-Geo) and ballpit.

    Rented my first SNES and FF2/4 there as well (and I still get goosebumps whenever I hear the theme when Kain and Cecil leave the castle at the beginning).
    Another thing was that they also occasionally rented Famicom games as well, with an adapter and piece of ribbon superglued on them (the ribbon was so you could pull them out of your NES). They had all 3 NES Star Wars games before they were released as well as Castlevania 3 (which was interesting when I learned about the changes, and not just talking about the music).

    Nocren on
    newSig.jpg
    FCD
  • Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    I love the day when my mom and pop store changed from badly photocopied SNES manuals to a generic hint and instruction page and it was interesting to find out the reason for that years later.

    3DS CODE: 3093-7068-3576
  • AtomikaAtomika not a robot. does not eat bugs!Registered User regular
    Not really a video store story, but we had this place in town for a little while growing up where they would let you play any SNES or Sega Genesis game you wanted on the premises and they charged by the hour.

    It tanked after about a year or so, but was an interesting idea.

  • NocrenNocren Lt Futz, Back in Action North CarolinaRegistered User regular
    edited February 2013
    Hey, remember when places just had the clear plastic cases with the instructions and "hints" laminated onto the case?
    I remember playing Mega Man (1) and seeing "Press start to pause the game" and "press down to duck". LIES.

    Also, when I was living in Texas, I decided to decorate my room in a manner similar to others with posters of my interests on the walls. But I was poor and my interests were video games, which didn't have a lot of merchandising at the time. But a lot of NES games came with a poster...
    Those display boxes still had all the pack-ins in their tiny cardboard shells. River City Ransom, Contra, and others adorned my walls at various odd angles for a couple of years before we moved.

    Nocren on
    newSig.jpg
  • Mike DangerMike Danger "Diane..." a place both wonderful and strangeRegistered User regular
    Old format memories:

    - I remember when my local mom and pop rental store closed down and they had an enormous box of movie posters labelled FREE. I grabbed a shitload (that crappy Time Machine adaptation, The Parent Trap for my sister, Dirty Dancing for my mom, a Godfather poster) and tried to take them home on my bike. They blew out of my hand on a bridge. :(

    - I also remember going over to my godmother's house and seeing they had bought all of the Star Wars movies on LaserDisc. I said something like "that is the goofiest looking thing in the world" when they popped in Return of the Jedi. Years later, they're the ones who are laughing.

    Steam: Mike Danger | PSN/NNID: remadeking | 3DS: 2079-9204-4075
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  • Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    Start does pause the game in MM1 but Select is the actual Pause Button.

    3DS CODE: 3093-7068-3576
  • TofystedethTofystedeth veni, veneri, vamoosi Registered User regular
    Friend of mine works in a recycling center here. They have to sort through all the stuff on the line to separate them into the different categories and get the non-recyclables outs. Also to salvage stuff that people threw out.
    One day he found the complete Star Wars LaserDisc trilogy. He snapped that up so fast.

    steam_sig.png
    Mike Danger
  • MortiousMortious The Nightmare Begins Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    We had a video store in walking distance of my house that had this school holiday special.

    -Rent 2 New Release movies and get 1 other free.
    -Return a New Release before 6pm the same day, get another movie free.

    5 movies for the price of 2.

    It was pretty much the best thing.

    Move to New Zealand
    It’s not a very important country most of the time
    http://steamcommunity.com/id/mortious
  • FCDFCD Registered User regular
    Nocren wrote: »
    Man... When I lived in Texas (Copperas Cove if you're curious) way back when... There was 1 video store in the entire town. They had a WALL of NES games and a kid's section where I got to rent and watch Robotech again (after drawing a Valkyrie fighter from memory at school, and having not seen the series since its initial airing). First time I played Final Fantasy was when I rented it there. Place was called Movie Man and had a cheap off-color Cyclopes as a mascot (yellow/red instead of blue/yellow). They redesigned their store when they got competition from a Blockbuster knock-off (same colors, same font, same hometown, but not Blockbuster) and added a mini-arcade (I remember a Dr Who pinball machine and non-Capcom upgrade for Street Fighter 2 along with a band new Neo-Geo cabinet) to compete with the other store's slightly larger arcade (darkened back room, T2 pinball machine, Pool table, Sunset Riders and another Neo-Geo) and ballpit.

    Rented my first SNES and FF2/4 there as well (and I still get goosebumps whenever I hear the theme when Kain and Cecil leave the castle at the beginning).
    Another thing was that they also occasionally rented Famicom games as well, with an adapter and piece of ribbon superglued on them (the ribbon was so you could pull them out of your NES). They had all 3 NES Star Wars games before they were released as well as Castlevania 3 (which was interesting when I learned about the changes, and not just talking about the music).

    ::bro fist::

    Also, I remember my early VHS/video game rentals with fondness as well. My dad rented Zelda 1 for me at a local mom and pop store, and sometime after that a West Coast Video opened in my neighborhood. Gyruss was my first NES game rental there. Good times, good times...

    "If anyone tried to steal your WAX LIPS, you would eat their eyeballs and deliver an angry lecture into their empty sockets." Hearts Boxcars, The Midnight Crew
  • FoefallerFoefaller Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    There used to be as many as six Blockbusters north of the Missouri River in the "Northland" area of Kansas City Missouri. Two of them were on the same street, less than 3 miles apart, McDonald's-style.

    I remember the good ol' days of getting my parents to drive me to each one, (though usually, only got as far as the two mentioned above and a third that was the cloest on to my house) looking for the last available copy of the latest SNES or N64 game. I remember renting Earthbound like 8 times, managing to get the same exact cartrige each time, letting me continue my save, giving me the time for my 8-year old self to play through it all and have it be the first RPG I've ever beaten.

    Now by the end of the month, there will be only 3 in and around Kansas City. I'm right now playing what will be my last rental from the store nearest to my home that's now closing (Kirby's Dream Collection, which ironicly enough, gives me the chance to play my second-most rented SNES game, Kirby's Super Star). and only one of those remaining stores will be close enough for a impulse drive when I'm too impatient for something like Gamefly.

    ...Although, there is still a local mom and pop rental joint has survive dispiste Blockbuster and the digital age, mostly thanks to their odd-but-briliant expansion into tanning rooms and payday loans. Last I checked though, thier gaming selection sucked.

    Foefaller on
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  • Muse Among MenMuse Among Men Suburban Bunny Princess? Its time for a new shtick Registered User regular
    RT800 wrote: »
    I shudder to think that some day we'll be having and Ode to Bookstores thread.

    Goodbye Borders :(

    Man I hope not, I love bookstores. I just bought something from one a few days ago!

  • emnmnmeemnmnme Heard about this on conservative radio:Registered User regular
    RT800 wrote: »
    I shudder to think that some day we'll be having and Ode to Bookstores thread.

    Goodbye Borders :(

    Man I hope not, I love bookstores. I just bought something from one a few days ago!

    Was it a book?

    Really, I can't tell. They sell so much different crap in there these days.

  • Mike DangerMike Danger "Diane..." a place both wonderful and strangeRegistered User regular
    What were some movies that came on VHS cartridges that weren't black? Getting one of those was always a cool surprise. There was definitely one of the 90s Nickelodeon movies that came on a bright orange cartridge.

    Steam: Mike Danger | PSN/NNID: remadeking | 3DS: 2079-9204-4075
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  • useless4useless4 Registered User regular
    Et was green

  • Mego ThorMego Thor "I say thee...NAY!" Registered User regular
    Nocren wrote: »
    Mego Thor wrote: »
    Nocren wrote: »
    I worked at Blockbuster all the way through college and then ran one (briefly, thankfully) afterward. I blame that place for the majority of the drinking I did. Every time I closed, which was a lot, it was inevitable I would end up at the bar.

    A few funny stories:

    The Blockbuster I worked at in college was in a rather wealthy area. Arguing with someone over a two dollar late fee and then watching them get into their Mercedes in a huff was always a good time. On the other side were people who would pay $50 dollars late fees without blinking. Every single weekend.

    Remember when The Sixth Sense came out on video? Everyone wanted to get it and it was almost never available. We had a woman walk up to the counter, skip everyone, and then yell and scream about how we didn't a have enough copies. The other person working motioned for everyone else in line to cover their ears. 'He's DEAD.' She got very quiet, realized that there would be no sympathy from the ten people in line she cut in front of, and left.

    Remember when Titanic came out? It took up two VHS tapes, it did. Corporate when crazy over it. We had three full bays full of it on the new release wall and hundreds of copies for sale. There was enough demand for a midnight opening and I volunteered to run it with the store manager. We sold a shit load but not a single one was rented. They all sat there, on the wall, for weeks.

    Setting the New Release wall on Mondays was always a bitch. First you would pull the copies to be sold used, then spend half the day shifting things around, trying to maintain some sort of order to make space for the two hundred copies of Eyes Wide Shut that no one would rent.

    In between stints at Blockbuster I did a little time in a mom and pop CD Store/Video rental place. I swear they made most of their money off of the porn selection. People would ask for 'the wine list' and I would hand them a nondescript box full of note cards. Each card listed an adult film with far more information than anyone needed, up to and including a review written by someone who worked there.

    ...

    No knocking laser discs. I had one. Blade Runner took up four sides and was fucking glorious.

    Your last bit reminded me of this one mom-and-pop store I used to frequent in Charleston when I was stationed there. It was also a Comic, RPG store so they mostly had the classics like Robocop but the majority was Asian import movies and anime.
    Scratch that, the majority was all the porn they had that covered about a 4th of the wall (halfway across, about waist high).

    I didn't realize what they were (they were all either copies or had their labels/cases replaced to more generic slip cases) until I found the list.
    It was a list of every title they had, alphabetical, with symbols marking which ones were personally recommended by the owner, which ones were those "he heard were good" and which ones were ok.

    @Nocren, was that the Green Dragon?

    Yes it was. It still there?

    Still there! Back in the day, it was one of the few (only) places around where you could rent anime.

    kyrcl.png
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    It's because of Blockbuster's dollar a day for a month one summer that I watched the entire Planet of the Apes series.

    I watched so many awful movies with my friend that summer.

  • NocrenNocren Lt Futz, Back in Action North CarolinaRegistered User regular
    What were some movies that came on VHS cartridges that weren't black? Getting one of those was always a cool surprise. There was definitely one of the 90s Nickelodeon movies that came on a bright orange cartridge.

    Pretty sure I had one or two that was white, and another that had some pink or was entirely pink (the header cover was pink, but the rest black or something).
    And I think TMNT2 might have been green for a limited run... but I could be misremembering that.

    newSig.jpg
  • NocrenNocren Lt Futz, Back in Action North CarolinaRegistered User regular
    Mego Thor wrote: »
    Nocren wrote: »
    Mego Thor wrote: »
    Nocren wrote: »
    I worked at Blockbuster all the way through college and then ran one (briefly, thankfully) afterward. I blame that place for the majority of the drinking I did. Every time I closed, which was a lot, it was inevitable I would end up at the bar.

    A few funny stories:

    The Blockbuster I worked at in college was in a rather wealthy area. Arguing with someone over a two dollar late fee and then watching them get into their Mercedes in a huff was always a good time. On the other side were people who would pay $50 dollars late fees without blinking. Every single weekend.

    Remember when The Sixth Sense came out on video? Everyone wanted to get it and it was almost never available. We had a woman walk up to the counter, skip everyone, and then yell and scream about how we didn't a have enough copies. The other person working motioned for everyone else in line to cover their ears. 'He's DEAD.' She got very quiet, realized that there would be no sympathy from the ten people in line she cut in front of, and left.

    Remember when Titanic came out? It took up two VHS tapes, it did. Corporate when crazy over it. We had three full bays full of it on the new release wall and hundreds of copies for sale. There was enough demand for a midnight opening and I volunteered to run it with the store manager. We sold a shit load but not a single one was rented. They all sat there, on the wall, for weeks.

    Setting the New Release wall on Mondays was always a bitch. First you would pull the copies to be sold used, then spend half the day shifting things around, trying to maintain some sort of order to make space for the two hundred copies of Eyes Wide Shut that no one would rent.

    In between stints at Blockbuster I did a little time in a mom and pop CD Store/Video rental place. I swear they made most of their money off of the porn selection. People would ask for 'the wine list' and I would hand them a nondescript box full of note cards. Each card listed an adult film with far more information than anyone needed, up to and including a review written by someone who worked there.

    ...

    No knocking laser discs. I had one. Blade Runner took up four sides and was fucking glorious.

    Your last bit reminded me of this one mom-and-pop store I used to frequent in Charleston when I was stationed there. It was also a Comic, RPG store so they mostly had the classics like Robocop but the majority was Asian import movies and anime.
    Scratch that, the majority was all the porn they had that covered about a 4th of the wall (halfway across, about waist high).

    I didn't realize what they were (they were all either copies or had their labels/cases replaced to more generic slip cases) until I found the list.
    It was a list of every title they had, alphabetical, with symbols marking which ones were personally recommended by the owner, which ones were those "he heard were good" and which ones were ok.

    @Nocren, was that the Green Dragon?

    Yes it was. It still there?

    Still there! Back in the day, it was one of the few (only) places around where you could rent anime.

    Had a friend that introduced me to Dirty Pair Flash (her favorite) and Slayers (one of mine) via that store.

    And some experimentation with Sailor and the Seven Balls.... :oops:




    :winky:

    newSig.jpg
  • AtomikaAtomika not a robot. does not eat bugs!Registered User regular
    emnmnme wrote: »
    RT800 wrote: »
    I shudder to think that some day we'll be having and Ode to Bookstores thread.

    Goodbye Borders :(

    Man I hope not, I love bookstores. I just bought something from one a few days ago!

    Was it a book?

    Really, I can't tell. They sell so much different crap in there these days.

    I understand the economics behind diversifying your stock to expand your customer base, but what I don't understand is doing that in a way where that alternative stock doesn't offer much selection and is sold at an extremely higher price than almost all local competitors.

    If you live in an area that has a Barnes & Noble or a Books-A-Million (or whatever), the odds that you also live in an area with a Wal-Mart or Best Buy approaches 100% in your favor. I never, ever, ever, ever feel the need to make impulse purchases on items being sold at 200% or greater of the market rate. And, since I'm at a fucking book store, anything that isn't a book or magazine is considered an impulse purchase.

    Sangheili91
  • cloudeaglecloudeagle Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    Smurph wrote: »
    Last time I went into a Blockbuster the only movies they had for rent were along the outer wall and maybe one small section of freestanding shelves. The rest of the store had been dedicated to selling movies and video games. I was there to pick up a pizza next door and was bout 5 minutes early so I went in. Halo 4 had been out for like a week, and I actually wanted to pick it up, so I asked if they had any copies. No, they did not. The newest game they had seemed to be Assassin's Creed 3, which had been out for about 2 weeks by then. It's really weird to see a business that's already failing move from a market they have cornered into a highly competitive one, and then completely half ass the effort.

    Late on this, but after I went into my third Blockbuster closing sale that had upward of two dozen copies of Fallout: New Vegas I asked what the deal was.

    Apparently Blockbuster doesn't have the regular deal with the game companies like they do with the movie studios, so they're completely dependent on whatever the publishers decide to give them. Some of them don't give anything at all, some of them only give out one copy three months later. Bethesda, apparently, decided to make it rain New Vegas.

    Not to dance on Blockbusters' corpse, but man, those closing sales. With good timing and a little luck you could pick up a ton of movies and games at much better prices than you could find used online, with no shipping to boot. Made good headway on rounding out my new Blu-ray collection that way.

    Blockbuster announced they're closing 300 more stores (leaving them just 500 in the country, if I'm remembering right) so keep your eyes open.

    cloudeagle on
    Switch: 3947-4890-9293
  • DasUberEdwardDasUberEdward Registered User regular
    I love the day when my mom and pop store changed from badly photocopied SNES manuals to a generic hint and instruction page and it was interesting to find out the reason for that years later.

    what uh

    was the reason

    steam_sig.png
  • RocketSauceRocketSauce Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    I remember when McDonald's of all places was selling Star Wars and Indiana Jones tapes. Pretty sure that's where I got them as a kid.

    In high school I had a friend who worked at the local theater so we got to see just about any movie we wanted, but I remember so many friday or saturday nights where we'd go down to Blockbuster to see what they had. I remember the annoyance of getting there too late and all of the copies of new releases being gone, and having to stand in the ridiculously long lines.

    In college Blockbuster was charging like $5 for a new release, whereas Hastings was charging $1.99, so that was a good excuse to jump ship.

    I'd also like to say Bart and Greg's DVD Explosion is the best mom and pop video store I've ever been to.

    RocketSauce on
  • AtomikaAtomika not a robot. does not eat bugs!Registered User regular
    cloudeagle wrote: »
    Smurph wrote: »
    Last time I went into a Blockbuster the only movies they had for rent were along the outer wall and maybe one small section of freestanding shelves. The rest of the store had been dedicated to selling movies and video games. I was there to pick up a pizza next door and was bout 5 minutes early so I went in. Halo 4 had been out for like a week, and I actually wanted to pick it up, so I asked if they had any copies. No, they did not. The newest game they had seemed to be Assassin's Creed 3, which had been out for about 2 weeks by then. It's really weird to see a business that's already failing move from a market they have cornered into a highly competitive one, and then completely half ass the effort.

    Late on this, but after I went into my third Blockbuster closing sale that had upward of two dozen copies of Fallout: New Vegas I asked what the deal was.

    Apparently Blockbuster doesn't have the regular deal with the game companies like they do with the movie studios, so they're completely dependent on whatever the publishers decide to give them. Some of them don't give anything at all, some of them only give out one copy three months later. Bethesda, apparently, decided to make it rain New Vegas.

    Not to dance on Blockbusters' corpse, but man, those closing sales. With good timing and a little luck you could pick up a ton of movies and games at much better prices than you could find used online, with no shipping to boot. Made good headway on rounding out my new Blu-ray collection that way.

    Blockbuster announced they're closing 300 more stores (leaving them just 500 in the country, if I'm remembering right) so keep your eyes open.

    Indeed. I'm running out of local Blockbusters to shop at, but I reckon out of my nearly 200-disc collection, a good half of those or more came from bankruptcy sales.

    The best part about that is that when they get down to the $3 (or less) per disc price, you can really start filling out your classics collection because fewer people are looking for those films. Lots of people waited in line to pay $10 for X-Men: First Class and Tron Legacy, but waiting a week or so later I netted a ton of Cronenberg, Coens, and Soderberg films. I paid $1 for Unforgiven.

  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    I love the day when my mom and pop store changed from badly photocopied SNES manuals to a generic hint and instruction page and it was interesting to find out the reason for that years later.

    what uh

    was the reason

    Nintendo sued Blockbuster for photocopying the manuals. Nintendo claimed that it was copyright infringement.

    http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1989-08-10/business/8902250177_1_nintendo-blockbuster-manuals
    Nintendo was full of shit back then.

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