An exploration of things to do in Arlington

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Are Video Rental Stores Going Extinct?

A few months back, I noticed that the Hollywood Video at Glebe & Columbia Pike had closed. Then a couple of weeks ago, I drove by the Video Warehouse on S. Glebe and that was shuttered, as well. Those closures are in addition to the Hollywood Video on Lee Highway that's been closed for some time now.

Are Arlington's video rental stores going extinct? I think you could count the remaining stores on one hand -- a Hollywood Video on Wilson Blvd. in Courthouse, generic rental outlets in Bluemont and Ballston, and maybe one or two others. But while there's plenty of deserved nostalgia for vanishing book stores and record shops, I don't think anyone could say the same about video stores.

Maybe it's time video stores went the way of the dinosaur. Between economic pressures, competition from Netflix, and new technologies like TiVo and video-on-demand, I wouldn't be surprised. I've recently stopped driving to Hollywood Video and instead use the RedBox at my local Harris Teeter. Why pay $4 per video plus gas when you can get a DVD for $1 a day at RedBox?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another option would be to use the public library. Arlington County's public library collection is impressively current, carrying many new releases. Using the online catalog (, you can even search for the movie you want to rent, place a hold on it, and the library will send it to whichever branch you like for pickup. The library even emails you to tell you when it's ready! It doesn't get much easier or less expensive, considering this service is completely free of charge.

9:55 PM

Anonymous Brian Block said...

Miles, it seems that video stores all over Northern Virginia are going out of business. With the exception of Blockbuster, other video stores just can't survive the proliferation of online video, Netflix rentals, satellite t.v., etc. With so many other choices, why wait on line at the video store?

10:58 PM

Blogger Googla Monster said...

I'm surprised that any video rental stores are still in business. I've used Netflix for years, and still can't believe how great a service it is. Also the selection is incredible. I've probably rented more TV shows and documentataries than I have movies.

2:00 AM

Blogger Hi said...

The Hollywood video on wilson is being bulldozed for condos soon. I never saw many people inside so was not sure how it's stayed in business.

6:32 AM

Anonymous Jon - The DC Traveler said...

Yes, I think only Blockbuster will survive, and the video dispenser vending machines that seem to be in every high volume retail store.

4:29 PM

Blogger Tom said...

There's a Blockbuster over on Lee Highway by the Harrison Center.

I've used Netflix for the last decade or so.

7:22 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i live in Michigan video stores are closeing left and right here as well

only Blockbuster and a few family video's are left

7:55 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Video stores will certainly go extinct soon, including Blockbuster. We have all the reasons mentioned, but also the fact that even online rentals will be out of business in the years to come because high speed internet will eventually be integrated with television and we will not even need to send/receive hard copies in the mail. My guess is that we will pay a buck or 2 and have access to the view the movie via the internet for 3 days or something like that.

2:22 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep. It's happening all over the place. Personally, I like driving to the video store and looking at all the movies. Not a big fan of Netflicks. Don't even get me started on Redbox.

I'm pretty sure there aren't too many people like myself who enjoy supporting video stores.

9:28 PM


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