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Tuesday
Mar272012

R.I.P. Park Slope Video Rental Stores

Photo via The L Magazine

Oh, the injustices of the world! First I had to show up 2 hours early to get a decent seat at a showing of The Hunger Games (whose tickets I had to get a month in advance), and now I find out that one of Park Slope’s last remaining video rental stores is closing! I’ve been crying all weekend, guys. It’s been rough. I had to stay in, curled up on the couch, watching old episodes of Arrested Development on Netflix just to cope.

We all know this story. With the advent of mail order DVD rental services and, now, streaming media, video stores have basically gone kaput. Of course, Blockbuster is the real poster child of the death of rental shops. Apparently they still have a few hundred stores open across the country, but that’s significantly less than the 4,000 they had just a few years ago.

The Slope alone has recently lost two Blockbusters. But this is Brooklyn, after all. Home of 2.5 million cinephiles. Surely we’d be able to hang on to at least our Mom and Pop video rental stores. Yet it seems even we aren’t immune to the downfall of video rental stores. According to The L Magazine, The Slope’s Reel Life South is joining the video rental graveyard, along with the two aforementioned Blockbusters, and Video Forum. It seems we’ve still got a couple left (Get Reel Video and Video Gallery), but I’m sad to say that I think we can see what this trend might indicate for those guys as well.

Who even goes to video rental stores anymore? I know a ton of people who basically watch a constant stream of movies -- not one of them would set foot in one of those places. It’s just too easy; I can find literally anything I want from my couch. Between Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, Youtube, and Hulu, there’s really no reason to leave the house for a DVD rental, so while a few Slope residents will be sad about the departure of these old rental shops, most of us will welcome the swanky new restaurants and bars that’ll take their storefronts. Of course, this means that, between streaming media and these new hangouts, we’ll have even more options for staying in AND going out. Sounds good to me.

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