CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — Those in the movie rental business said 2004 was the peak for industry and 2009 is when they took a big hit. On demand, streaming, and Redbox are among the change to movie renting. Ever since, movie rental giants have been closing and soon Blockbuster will hit eject.
“You’ll find our older movies in their own sections,” said Video Quick owner, Curtis Thompson.
About 9,000 movie titles fill the shelves in Video Quick in Talent, with new releases coming in every week. In a world where movies are available with just a few clicks at home, Thompson said it’s just not the same feel.
“There’s still something to be had with the experience of coming in and talking to our clerks who are knowledgeable about the titles, and it’s browsing, kind of like a library experience,” said Thompson.
Video Quick is an independent rental store in an industry that is seeing national chains in crisis. Blockbuster announced the closure of about 300 stores including the remaining two in the Rogue Valley.
Loyal blockbuster customers said picking out a movie is something they look forward to every week and are surprised by the news.
“It’s not just going to a box and just getting a movie out with a computer, you get a smiling face ‘oh, hey! how’s it going?’ and to not have that any more is going to be an adjustment,” said Blockbuster regular Mikki Merritt.
Instead of combing shelves for new releases or old classics, some movie watchers prefer to save money and stream online or pick up from Redbox.
“Finances as well. I don’t go to the movies, so I’ll wait until the big blockbusters hit that or Netflix,” said Redbox user Jeremy Haas.
Thompson said as other rental stores close down, his business draws in those customers.
It’s been his ability to adapt to the changing industry that has kept customers browsing.
“A bigger part of our business has become selling movies, so that shift has helped, the addition of blu-rays a couple of years ago also gave us a bit of a boost,” said Thompson.
Blockbuster locations are expected to close sometime in January while the DVD by mail service will end in mid-December. In total nearly 3,000 employees will be laid off.