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An Ode to Blockbuster and Other [Video Rental Stores]

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Posts

  • Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    Blockbuster's fees did look a bit silly after DVD's matured a bit.

    Hey I could spend 8 bucks to rent this here movie for a day right after it released, so long as I get it before everyone else rented it...or spend seven more bucks and own it day 1 at Best Buy.

    Hell BB ended up eventually eating up its own back catalog rentals doing the same thing with its used DVD sales. Hmm, rent it for 3 dollars or a week or own it for 5...HMMM....

    3DS CODE: 3093-7068-3576
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Blockbuster's fees did look a bit silly after DVD's matured a bit.

    Hey I could spend 8 bucks to rent this here movie for a day right after it released, so long as I get it before everyone else rented it...or spend seven more bucks and own it day 1 at Best Buy.

    Hell BB ended up eventually eating up its own back catalog rentals doing the same thing with its used DVD sales. Hmm, rent it for 3 dollars or a week or own it for 5...HMMM....

    Back catalog was always an afterthought. Many of those movies already only rented two, three times a year. I know, because I'd have to pull the report yearly to decide what to get rid of to make space for new releases getting pulled off the wall.

    Even great movies would sometimes spend an entire year on the shelf.

    The business model was get a bunch of copies, turn then all at least a few times, then sell then off. Two or three turns was enough to pay for the copy (on DVD), then the used sales and additional turns on remaining copies were your profit.

    If a movie flopped it wasn't uncommon to sell off copies with like a single rent on them. But that's where your purchaser had to be smart.

    Ours wasn't.

  • TofystedethTofystedeth veni, veneri, vamoosi Registered User regular
    The Ender wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    Q6PnspD.jpg

    beta1.jpg

    IV3hShi.jpg

    What the Hell is this 'Beta' stuff?

    Beta was the cassette format used by Sony for it's 'Betamax' line of VCRs. It was the most direct competitor with JVC's VHS format, capturing about 20~ percent of the market at it's peak. Like all cassettes, Beta used magnetic tape to capture and/or playback an analog signal; the Beta VCRs had larger heads than VHS machines, which meant that they could capture more detail (resulting in a slightly sharper image), but the early cassettes could only hold about 60~ minutes worth of footage, making most Hollywood offerings out of reach. Sony's product was also more expensive, because they didn't license-out manufacturing, and a few film genres (most notably, the emerging adult film industry) standardized on JVC's format.

    The last Beta VCR was released in 1993.

    We had a Beta VCR. Well, actually we had several Beta VCRs. Some broke. About 5 got stolen. Once it was the only thing stolen from our house before the robbers fled. And almost all of them were well after the time where if you said you had a Beta people would say "WTF is that?" I love to imagine the guy who stole them getting such a confused look on his face when he realized it. But then he probably was able to sell it to a knowledgeable pawn shop or electronics guy if he knew one. I was pretty tickled when I was watching Cowboy Bebop with my friends and the episode where they found the Beta cassette came on.
    We had a pretty huge collection because we inherited a bunch of boxes of movies and recorded TV shows from some of our friends from church when they moved to California, and then when a local video store stopped carrying them we got a few more boxes for like $5 apiece.

    There is a video store in Dallas, Premiere Video, which is really awesome. I just checked and according to google anyway it still exists. It was in a really small space, but the movies were super densely packed, their selection was really good. They didn't typically have more than a couple copies of anything, but you could find most any movie you wanted, and if they didn't have it, and you mentioned it to them, they'd probably have it the next time. Their anime and foreign selection was really good as well. And the staff was super knowledgeable about film. They apparently had to set up a dropbox in Oak Cliff because there were enough driving 12 miles through shitty Dallas traffic to get movies from them it was worthwhile to at least make it easier to drop the movies off.

    It's places like that that I feel may be the only B&M video stores to survive the Netflixaggedon.

    steam_sig.png
  • Salvation122Salvation122 Registered User regular
    y2jake215 wrote: »
    tbloxham wrote: »
    My friends and I in high school always used to go to the blockbuster near my friends house. This was when we were 16-17 and for some reason this guys parents had bought this second house really near the school so my friend could walk to school. So he lived there mostly by himself during the week, with his parents only coming there 2-3 nights a week and him going home on weekends.

    So we would go to blockbuster (which was about 100 yards away) and rent so many crappy action movies and buy candy and crap like that and watch it all back at his house. Like 6 of us so the movies were practically free. We saw so many awesomely bad movies. Like this movie where a supersoldier program was scrapped and all the old supersoldiers were dumped on a garbage planet, one survived and eventually had to kill all the next generation supersoldiers who came to get him. Good times.

    Yes, and we were uncool enough that the most exciting thing we could think of to do with a house in the middle of town with no parental supervision was watch movies and eat popcorn. We also used to play a shedload of soul caliber (also rented from blockbuster). That's probably the only reason his parents let him stay there by himself!

    I saw the beginning of that movie on TV like three years ago. WHAT WAS IT

    I think it had Kurt Russell? Or someone LIKE Kurt Russell?

    It was Kurt Russell, and it was called Soldier.

    sig.png
  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    y2jake215 wrote: »
    tbloxham wrote: »
    My friends and I in high school always used to go to the blockbuster near my friends house. This was when we were 16-17 and for some reason this guys parents had bought this second house really near the school so my friend could walk to school. So he lived there mostly by himself during the week, with his parents only coming there 2-3 nights a week and him going home on weekends.

    So we would go to blockbuster (which was about 100 yards away) and rent so many crappy action movies and buy candy and crap like that and watch it all back at his house. Like 6 of us so the movies were practically free. We saw so many awesomely bad movies. Like this movie where a supersoldier program was scrapped and all the old supersoldiers were dumped on a garbage planet, one survived and eventually had to kill all the next generation supersoldiers who came to get him. Good times.

    Yes, and we were uncool enough that the most exciting thing we could think of to do with a house in the middle of town with no parental supervision was watch movies and eat popcorn. We also used to play a shedload of soul caliber (also rented from blockbuster). That's probably the only reason his parents let him stay there by himself!

    I saw the beginning of that movie on TV like three years ago. WHAT WAS IT

    I think it had Kurt Russell? Or someone LIKE Kurt Russell?

    It was Kurt Russell, and it was called Soldier.

    Was it? ;)

  • Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    A bunch of my friends ended up working for BB at one point. So many free rentals.

    3DS CODE: 3093-7068-3576
  • MadpandaMadpanda Registered User regular
    I loved how with the anti-theft systems they put in those big scanners and they had to hand you your videos on the other side. Its one of the first instance I can remember of being treated like a criminal until proven customer by a retail store.

    camo_sig2.png
    Steam/PSN/XBL/Minecraft / LoL / - Benevicious | WoW - Duckwood - Rajhek
  • StollsStolls Brave Corporate Logo Chicago, ILRegistered User regular
    Ahh, working at Blockbuster. I could go on for days about the usual video store hijinks: late fee haggling, minors trying to rent movies they weren't supposed to, that one couple that kept stealing things, having to do a full inventory at 2 in the morning, that one guy who was always high, the rubber chicken incident, exploiting the dish demo unit, being the only person in the store that ever rented Carlito's Way, and so on.

    I do credit/blame it for two particular things in my life. One, it made a few interesting contributions to my library. One of the other employees had a habit of ordering stuff from the internal catalog but dragging her feet on actually buying it once it arrived. After a particularly nasty (unrelated) exchange with the manager she quit and went elsewhere, leaving us sitting on the merchandise; including, of all things, Tenchi Muyo, Armitage III, and the Azumanga Daioh collection. They sat on the shelves for a while before someone decided fuck it, it's just taking up space, who wants it at a discount.

    Thanks to Toonami-slash-Adult Swim I'd familiarized myself with the concept of anime, but the thought of this as something you could actually buy and own was somehow foreign to me. Those weren't the only things I picked up from this curious sale (woo, Hard Boiled!) but they required more explanation to passersby.

    The second is instilling me with a lifelong, seething hatred of sales and retail. Around mid-2001, most of the staff that I knew had moved on, and the manager was replaced after a fight with the DM. The guy that replaced him was a bit more by-the-book, which isn't inherently a bad thing (he did finally get the light fixed from the aforementioned chicken incident). Bigger problem was the company was pushing harder to make sales - more premium membership, more used copies, more biographies of that one guy from Viacom that we had for some god-only-knows reason - and he was all too happy to comply.

    And then there was the micromanagement of what we said. We had to start saying specific things every time a client entered and left, or whenever the phone rang; with the latter, plugging whatever sale we were running at the month, which was often a bit of a mouthful. We got a lot of people who would cut us off midsentence, because they wanted to know our hours or if we just had such-and-such in stock, but god help you if you didn't say the DirecTV line when another store was calling. There were other such nuisances - tighter dress code restrictions, less leeway on fee waivers, that kind of thing - and 'nuisances' are all they would have been individually.

    We bled people pretty quickly after that, and it wasn't until my next job that I realized this attitude was basically everywhere in sales/retail. Even now, working as a bank teller some twelve years later, I'm seeing the exact same ideas recycled: canned phrases, tracking meaningless stats (the number of people who leave smiling? Someone was paid money to think that one up?) and chewing out employees that fall behind on their numbers. Not a single original thought above the branch level.

    But I digress. While I didn't set foot in a Blockbuster after college, I do miss video stores in general. Some stores kept a good selection of hard-to-find stuff that I would've missed out on, especially with games; snapped up used copies of Star Ocean: Second Story and Fatal Frame for peanuts. Good times.

    lR4K8ZJ.png
    Shadowrun skillcheck guides: Dragonfall, Hong Kong
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    DVD made this hard, because consumers had gotten used to day and date releases, and reasonable prices...so blockbuster had little way to keep the movies off Netflix, due to the first sale doctrine. Netflix could simply get copies through normal retail channels as a last resort.

    Unlike VHS, where movies were available for rental before retail sale. Remember that? Like, you god forbid you lost a copy, because those things ran like a hundred a pop.

    And Blockbuster did indeed play fuck fuck games with studio ties, which is why at Hollywood you'd only see like two copies of movies from (IIRC) Paramount...because they charged a fuckton for them while Blockbuster was (IIRC) a subsidiary at the time. Or something.

    But yeah, DVD changed everything.

    'DVD'? That sounds very sophisticated and trendy. What is this 'DVD'?

    Oh, now you're just being coy.

    'Digital Video Discs' were an optical media format developed by Philips and Sony in 1995. DVDs could hold much more data than a standard compact disc, and while the first generation of DVDs were dual-layered (much like the Laserdisc format), single-layered eventually became the standard as the technology improved.

    DVDs had much better image and audio quality than cassettes, did not suffer from magnetic tape signal degradation and, most importantly, could be mass produced at a fraction of the cost. Although the format itself was short-lived, being superceded by Sony's BluRay format, the emergence of DVDs completely changed the home entertainment industry. VHS, the once peerless juggernaut of home video, was considered a dead technology just after 5 years in competition with DVD.

    On the eve of December 31st, 2008, the last truckload of pre-recorded VHS tapes was shipped out of Palm Harbor by their largest distributor in the United States

    With Love and Courage
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    if they had gotten no the bandwagon earlier blockbuster could have crushed Netflix like a bug. BB had studio relationships going back years. they got movies easier and sometimes earlier than anyone else. If they had been smart they'd have gone to streaming services and murdered Netflix who struggled to get content for ages.

    DVD made this hard, because consumers had gotten used to day and date releases, and reasonable prices...so blockbuster had little way to keep the movies off Netflix, due to the first sale doctrine. Netflix could simply get copies through normal retail channels as a last resort.

    Unlike VHS, where movies were available for rental before retail sale. Remember that? Like, you god forbid you lost a copy, because those things ran like a hundred a pop.

    And Blockbuster did indeed play fuck fuck games with studio ties, which is why at Hollywood you'd only see like two copies of movies from (IIRC) Paramount...because they charged a fuckton for them while Blockbuster was (IIRC) a subsidiary at the time. Or something.

    But yeah, DVD changed everything.

    DVD changed the cost structure. The reason video rental was a thing was VHS's were damn expensive. I remember when VCRs came out and everyone owned like maybe 3 movies for it. Renting was more cost effective. DVDs were made much cheaper. And they lasted longer creating a big secondhand market.

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    Is this where I say I'm still pissed you assholes south of the border killed Blockbluster?

    Motherfuckers, not everyone has decent streaming services!

    Don't blame the customers, blame dinosaurs who were unable to compete.

    GET ON MAH LEVEL CANADA

    Lh96QHG.png
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    Also it should be noted Blu-Rya is hardly succeeding DVD. Blu-Ray is pretty much solely a hobbyist format it'll never have DVDs penetration. The licensing is too expensive, computers are dropping optical discs altogether and streaming options are taking over.

    Darkewolfe
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    Is this where I say I'm still pissed you assholes south of the border killed Blockbluster?

    Motherfuckers, not everyone has decent streaming services!

    Don't blame the customers, blame dinosaurs who were unable to compete.

    GET ON MAH LEVEL CANADA

    I prefer to blame all of these over-privileged punk kids and their whirlygig contraptions. You could've left well enough alone, but nope!

    Gotta make things more 'convenient' and 'cost efficient' and 'improve the user experience'.

    Bunch of bullshit. I want my dollar Tuesdays back!

    *crosses arms*

    With Love and Courage
    AManFromEarthmcdermott
  • Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    I was also about to say this. Movies are still getting released on DVD and it isn't just marginal sales for the most popular things like it was for VHS, it's practically everything that gets a physical release.

    Hell there are probably more things still planned in 2013 with DVD only releases.

    3DS CODE: 3093-7068-3576
    Darkewolfe
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Library's and video stores were such a novelty for me when I was a kid. Here I am in a massive room full of so much information to take in. Made every excuse I could to go to either.

    And when I got a little older and realized there were entire stores full of video games...

    Lh96QHG.png
    StollsFeralVoid SlayerNiceguyeddie616
  • Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    When my mom and pop video store moved from its second location to its third it had a moving sale in which everything you rented was 10 cents to help them bring over the inventory from one store to another.

    So for two days my Nintendo collection went from around ten games to over one hundred.

    3DS CODE: 3093-7068-3576
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    I was also about to say this. Movies are still getting released on DVD and it isn't just marginal sales for the most popular things like it was for VHS, it's practically everything that gets a physical release.

    Hell there are probably more things still planned in 2013 with DVD only releases.

    I like having physical copies of some of my favorites. For example I have The West Wing, Star Trek TOS, and most of The Office and Parks and Rec, and some older films that don't get Netflixed often (Caine Mutiny, Mr Smith, etc).

    Netflix is good, but sometimes I want a DVD.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    When my mom and pop video store moved from its second location to its third it had a moving sale in which everything you rented was 10 cents to help them bring over the inventory from one store to another.

    So for two days my Nintendo collection went from around ten games to over one hundred.

    Jesus that's brilliant.

    AManFromEarthElJeffeTofystedethshrykeMortiouszagdrob
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    Also it should be noted Blu-Rya is hardly succeeding DVD. Blu-Ray is pretty much solely a hobbyist format it'll never have DVDs penetration. The licensing is too expensive, computers are dropping optical discs altogether and streaming options are taking over.

    I disagree; if you look at the adoption rate, Blue-Ray is actually performing better against DVDs than DVD did against VHS for the same period of time. In Japan, Blu-Ray recording and playback machines are already outselling DVD counterparts. It's also worth noting, of course, that Sony is pushing the Blu-Ray format - meaning that it's marketing weight is no longer behind DVD.

    It's certainly true that streaming media & digital distribution may eventually kill physical media altogether, but within the physical media arena, there's very good reason to suspect that Blu-Ray will take-over DVD's space (though trends can always change, of course).

    With Love and Courage
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    The Ender wrote: »
    Also it should be noted Blu-Rya is hardly succeeding DVD. Blu-Ray is pretty much solely a hobbyist format it'll never have DVDs penetration. The licensing is too expensive, computers are dropping optical discs altogether and streaming options are taking over.

    I disagree; if you look at the adoption rate, Blue-Ray is actually performing better against DVDs than DVD did against VHS for the same period of time. In Japan, Blu-Ray recording and playback machines are already outselling DVD counterparts. It's also worth noting, of course, that Sony is pushing the Blu-Ray format - meaning that it's marketing weight is no longer behind DVD.

    It's certainly true that streaming media & digital distribution may eventually kill physical media altogether, but within the physical media arena, there's very good reason to suspect that Blu-Ray will take-over DVD's space (though trends can always change, of course).

    And Blu-Ray readers are replacing DVDs in computers at a good clip. Even at a cheapo Walmart special you can get a blu ray player for a negligible increase in price.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    The Ender wrote: »
    Also it should be noted Blu-Rya is hardly succeeding DVD. Blu-Ray is pretty much solely a hobbyist format it'll never have DVDs penetration. The licensing is too expensive, computers are dropping optical discs altogether and streaming options are taking over.

    I disagree; if you look at the adoption rate, Blue-Ray is actually performing better against DVDs than DVD did against VHS for the same period of time. In Japan, Blu-Ray recording and playback machines are already outselling DVD counterparts. It's also worth noting, of course, that Sony is pushing the Blu-Ray format - meaning that it's marketing weight is no longer behind DVD.

    It's certainly true that streaming media & digital distribution may eventually kill physical media altogether, but within the physical media arena, there's very good reason to suspect that Blu-Ray will take-over DVD's space (though trends can always change, of course).

    I think the point is that Blu-ray will never reach the peak of ubiquity that DVD has. I don't think it'll ever be the case where pretty much every home will have several devices capable of playing blu ray discs.

    Like, I don't own a blu ray player, and I don't think it's likely I ever will, given that I already primarily get most of my entertainment through streaming services. There are all kinds of organisations and services pushing streaming way harder than anybody is pushing physical discs.

    StollsDarkewolfe
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    japan wrote: »
    The Ender wrote: »
    Also it should be noted Blu-Rya is hardly succeeding DVD. Blu-Ray is pretty much solely a hobbyist format it'll never have DVDs penetration. The licensing is too expensive, computers are dropping optical discs altogether and streaming options are taking over.

    I disagree; if you look at the adoption rate, Blue-Ray is actually performing better against DVDs than DVD did against VHS for the same period of time. In Japan, Blu-Ray recording and playback machines are already outselling DVD counterparts. It's also worth noting, of course, that Sony is pushing the Blu-Ray format - meaning that it's marketing weight is no longer behind DVD.

    It's certainly true that streaming media & digital distribution may eventually kill physical media altogether, but within the physical media arena, there's very good reason to suspect that Blu-Ray will take-over DVD's space (though trends can always change, of course).

    I think the point is that Blu-ray will never reach the peak of ubiquity that DVD has. I don't think it'll ever be the case where pretty much every home will have several devices capable of playing blu ray discs.

    Like, I don't own a blu ray player, and I don't think it's likely I ever will, given that I already primarily get most of my entertainment through streaming services. There are all kinds of organisations and services pushing streaming way harder than anybody is pushing physical discs.

    This is probably true.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • cloudeaglecloudeagle Registered User regular
    Like most of you living in decently-sized metro areas, the collapse of Blockbuster/Hollywood/Indies caused the number of available video stores to shrink by something like 95 percent in my area in just four years. Video stores are dead, time to move on.

    Only Family Video didn't get the message. They actually built a new store near my house two years ago. I thought they were completely insane.

    Fast forward to a few months ago. I get addicted to Downton Abbey, but no one has the second season available for streaming. So I finally set foot in Family Video.

    ....the place is PACKED. It's to the point that getting in and out of the tiny parking lot almost resembled a game of bumper cars, and I had to wait 10 minutes before someone was free enough to sign me up for a membership. But the selection is great and the prices are reasonable. Hell, since I haven't been in a couple months they called me up and offered me a free video. I have no clue if the company is making any money but good goddamn they've got foot traffic.

    I guess there's just enough luddites out there to make it extremely worthwhile for some video stores to stay in business. And since finding a movie that's popular and older than four months old is a dicey proposition at best thanks to Redbox's churn and Hollywood's War on Streaming, there's definitely a niche that can serve you even if you're wired to the gills.

    Switch: 3947-4890-9293
    mcdermottMego Thor
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    The backwards compatibility of DVDs in BD players means that it will be very easy to just gradually switch everything over. As BD players become cheaper, if you need a DVD player, why not just get BD? Your DVDs will still all work. Even if you don't have an HDTV, you're future-proofing yourself. And since a lot of people who don't even have BD players are starting to buy the BD/DVD combos just in case, they're backdooring in their own BD collections.

    DVD might always stick around, but it's easy for manufacturers and distributors to gradually phase it out if they want to. That's they beauty of BD. With VHS, you needed a totally fuckawesome new format to properly compete. Laserdisc looked beautiful in comparison, but it was expensive and unwieldy and there was no reason for a non-enthusiast to give two shits about it, not if it meant starting your movie collection over from scratch. It took something that was beautiful and convenient and had bonus extras and wasn't too unwieldy to get people to commit to throwing out their old movies.

    With BD, though? You can keep your DVD collection. If you never want to rebuy Tango and Cash or whatever, that's fine. No reason to get another copy of that 30 year old romcom? Fine, keep the old one, and just get the new, pretty releases on BD. It's a format that you can just gradually get more of until holy fuck, when was the last time I even bought a DVD? Welp, guess I'm a BD devotee, now.

    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
    mcdermottAManFromEarthSangheili91Bolthorn
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Awesomed because

    TANGO AND FUCKING CASH

    And call me a Luddite but neither redbox or Netflix can ever replace walking the wall. Always loved it.

    Some nights you started at Z, because why the hell not?

    ElJeffe
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    I loved the genre aisles, personally. I want some laughs, let's go to the comedy section and grab the first movie I see with John Candy in it. I want a cheesy B-movie, let's go to the Sci-Fi section. I want to hear Arnold Schwarzenegger when his accent was really pronounced, let's go to the action section.

    With Love and Courage
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    The Ender wrote: »
    I loved the genre aisles, personally. I want some laughs, let's go to the comedy section and grab the first movie I see with John Candy in it. I want a cheesy B-movie, let's go to the Sci-Fi section. I want to hear Arnold Schwarzenegger when his accent was really pronounced, let's go to the action section.


    You want titties and people grinding each other in ridiculously anatomically incorrect ways?

    Drama, baby.

  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    I'll say one thing for BR. It's amazing if only because Sony didn't fuck up a consumer format war for once

  • chamberlainchamberlain Registered User regular
    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.

  • Captain UltraCaptain Ultra low resolution pictures of birds Registered User regular
    I have a blockbuster giftcard in my wallet that I got freshman year of college that I'm never gonna be able to use.

    BeNarwhal wrote: »
    I'm gonna saaaay ... over 160 launches attempted worldwide in 2019. Someone record that somewhere!
  • cloudeaglecloudeagle Registered User regular
    I'll say one thing for BR. It's amazing if only because Sony didn't fuck up a consumer format war for once

    ...only with the slight side effect of causing the PlayStation brand to go from the industry leader to an afterthought, and lose hundreds of millions in the process. No biggie.

    Switch: 3947-4890-9293
    Darkewolfe
  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    I have a blockbuster giftcard in my wallet that I got freshman year of college that I'm never gonna be able to use.

    On the bright side, in a few years you'll be able to sell that to a collector like it's a 2nd century Roman denarius.

  • AtomikaAtomika Brought to you by Technicolor™ Registered User regular
    The Ender wrote: »
    Also it should be noted Blu-Rya is hardly succeeding DVD. Blu-Ray is pretty much solely a hobbyist format it'll never have DVDs penetration. The licensing is too expensive, computers are dropping optical discs altogether and streaming options are taking over.

    I disagree; if you look at the adoption rate, Blue-Ray is actually performing better against DVDs than DVD did against VHS for the same period of time. In Japan, Blu-Ray recording and playback machines are already outselling DVD counterparts. It's also worth noting, of course, that Sony is pushing the Blu-Ray format - meaning that it's marketing weight is no longer behind DVD.

    It's certainly true that streaming media & digital distribution may eventually kill physical media altogether, but within the physical media arena, there's very good reason to suspect that Blu-Ray will take-over DVD's space (though trends can always change, of course).

    And Blu-Ray readers are replacing DVDs in computers at a good clip. Even at a cheapo Walmart special you can get a blu ray player for a negligible increase in price.

    This year's Black Friday special at Wal-Mart was a $39 blu-ray player.

    And yes, I bought one for my parents. Because someone has to drag them into the present.



    However, I agree that blu-ray is becoming more and more a hobbyist's medium the more digital distribution takes hold, but I hope that blu-ray always exists in some capacity if only for preservation's sake. Digital distribution methods have a bad habit of being proprietary and hiding behind pay walls, and when I want to watch a crisp copy of Casablanca, I shouldn't have to keep going to places like Blockbuster.

    AManFromEarth
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    The Ender wrote: »
    Also it should be noted Blu-Rya is hardly succeeding DVD. Blu-Ray is pretty much solely a hobbyist format it'll never have DVDs penetration. The licensing is too expensive, computers are dropping optical discs altogether and streaming options are taking over.

    I disagree; if you look at the adoption rate, Blue-Ray is actually performing better against DVDs than DVD did against VHS for the same period of time. In Japan, Blu-Ray recording and playback machines are already outselling DVD counterparts. It's also worth noting, of course, that Sony is pushing the Blu-Ray format - meaning that it's marketing weight is no longer behind DVD.

    It's certainly true that streaming media & digital distribution may eventually kill physical media altogether, but within the physical media arena, there's very good reason to suspect that Blu-Ray will take-over DVD's space (though trends can always change, of course).

    And Blu-Ray readers are replacing DVDs in computers at a good clip. Even at a cheapo Walmart special you can get a blu ray player for a negligible increase in price.

    This year's Black Friday special at Wal-Mart was a $39 blu-ray player.

    And yes, I bought one for my parents. Because someone has to drag them into the present.



    However, I agree that blu-ray is becoming more and more a hobbyist's medium the more digital distribution takes hold, but I hope that blu-ray always exists in some capacity if only for preservation's sake. Digital distribution methods have a bad habit of being proprietary and hiding behind pay walls, and when I want to watch a crisp copy of Casablanca, I shouldn't have to keep going to places like Blockbuster.

    Or pay a membership in perpetuity to Netflix.

    Or hope Comcast isn't throttling your Internet that night.

    Assuming that digital approaches BR quality, of course.

    AManFromEarthAtomika
  • NocrenNocren Lt Futz, Back in Action North CarolinaRegistered User regular
    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.

    newSig.jpg
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    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.

    Viddery games and cimena are not relevant to my interests, but porn - real, honest to God porn - this is the grout & tiling of my life. How can we make this thread about naked people slapping the butts of other naked people?

    Prior to the 1980s, the sex industry in the United States was very narrow in scope, mostly relegated to adult entertainment clubs, shady 'peep show' venues (often pay per view) and escort / prostitution services. With the explosion of video rental stores, moguls within the sex industry saw an opportunity to make a lot of money even with a small staff of performers by videotaping sex scenes, duplicating the tapes and selling them to local rental stores. Some even cut royalty deals with the larger chains.

    This caused a 'gold rush' of sorts that ballooned the entire industry: not only could a single taped scene sell to many, many more customers than any traditional act, it was far easier and came with less overhead or regulations to just buy or rent a VHS recorder and film a scene in someone's home, apartment or hotel room. The strong demand for & sales of porn in early video rental stores became a core part of that business model.

    With Love and Courage
    Aioua
  • baudattitudebaudattitude Registered User regular
    I was a laserdisc guy.

    They were amazing, except for their tendency to self-destruct ("laser rot") and needing to get up and flip the disc or change discs out if the movie was long enough and, oh, yes, they were bloody expensive. I mean, sure, you COULD rent them from a few stores, but it was much cooler to spend a hundred bucks on the Director's Cut of Aliens that had all the cool extra footage that the filthy VHS peasants didn't get to see.

    This was not a sound financial decision, especially when buying domestic LDs wasn't nearly cool enough and I started importing Japanese LDs.

    The last LD I bought was Card Captor Sakura: The Movie, which cost $108.00 and tax and which probably got watched twice before being replaced with a $20 DVD.

    So everyone in here going "daddy, what's a laserdisc?", just count your lucky stars.

    One of the few local places that rented LDs was also the "cool" video store, the one with all the anime and Hong Kong action movies and weird stuff and an inexplicable policy of never charging anyone to rent any movie featuring Brooke Shields (they actually had a sign: "We don't charge for Brooke")

    They went under some years back, which was sad, but they donated their entire stock (minus the porn, presumably) to the local library, so now we have a library with an amazing and very very eclectic video section for checkout.

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    The Ender wrote: »
    Also it should be noted Blu-Rya is hardly succeeding DVD. Blu-Ray is pretty much solely a hobbyist format it'll never have DVDs penetration. The licensing is too expensive, computers are dropping optical discs altogether and streaming options are taking over.

    I disagree; if you look at the adoption rate, Blue-Ray is actually performing better against DVDs than DVD did against VHS for the same period of time. In Japan, Blu-Ray recording and playback machines are already outselling DVD counterparts. It's also worth noting, of course, that Sony is pushing the Blu-Ray format - meaning that it's marketing weight is no longer behind DVD.

    It's certainly true that streaming media & digital distribution may eventually kill physical media altogether, but within the physical media arena, there's very good reason to suspect that Blu-Ray will take-over DVD's space (though trends can always change, of course).

    And Blu-Ray readers are replacing DVDs in computers at a good clip. Even at a cheapo Walmart special you can get a blu ray player for a negligible increase in price.

    This year's Black Friday special at Wal-Mart was a $39 blu-ray player.

    And yes, I bought one for my parents. Because someone has to drag them into the present.



    However, I agree that blu-ray is becoming more and more a hobbyist's medium the more digital distribution takes hold, but I hope that blu-ray always exists in some capacity if only for preservation's sake. Digital distribution methods have a bad habit of being proprietary and hiding behind pay walls, and when I want to watch a crisp copy of Casablanca, I shouldn't have to keep going to places like Blockbuster.

    Or pay a membership in perpetuity to Netflix.

    Or hope Comcast isn't throttling your Internet that night.

    Assuming that digital approaches BR quality, of course.

    Yeah, if Brighthouse ever institutes a bandwidth cap I will be cancelling my Netflix immediately.

    Lh96QHG.png
    SammyF
  • emnmnmeemnmnme Registered User regular
    The last LD I bought was Card Captor Sakura: The Movie, which cost $108.00 and tax and which probably got watched twice before being replaced with a $20 DVD.

    D:

    D:

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    emnmnme wrote: »
    The last LD I bought was Card Captor Sakura: The Movie, which cost $108.00 and tax and which probably got watched twice before being replaced with a $20 DVD.

    D:

    D:

    I paid like $40 for an import DVD of High Road to China, back when it was out of print in the USA on any format. The ex loved that movie, it was a gift. It was watched...once, maybe. I could buy it now for like $8 on Blu-Ray.

    EDIT: Best is the default Swedish subtitles.

    mcdermott on
    Atomika
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