When I was younger I loved going to the video store. New releases. Popular dramas. Foreign films. Family musicals. Top rated B horror movies about Yeti -- it was all there. The physical action of browsing through a video store was part of the movie night ritual. At some point on Friday, between coming home from school and having dinner I would load into the car with my dad and older sister while my mom made dinner, and we would be whisked off to the local video store. 5 minutes later we would hop out and begin the selection process. My strategy was always the same - pick 6 movies and then let my sister narrow it down to three. Always three. Get two release rent one free. Maybe add a bag of microwavable popcorn for an extra 99 cents, if I was feeling inspired. I was always feeling inspired. I would check out with the cute older video store guy, all the while not making eye contact because I didn't want to seem desperate and voila -- my entire weekend was planned.
The death of the video store is a tragedy. I often think about how millennials will never know the satisfaction of flipping through video after video with a store full of other video renters who are all there for the same reason - to be transported to another land, where lives are more interesting, where the everyman is the hero, where there is a great want and an even greater need, all before heading back to work Monday morning.