On December 23, 2017 local video store Vision Video will be closing its doors after 31 years of providing movie rentals at a reasonable price. Vision Video is closing for a variety of reasons, however a major factor is assumably competition from online streaming services like Hulu or Netflix.
Netflix currently costs $10 per month to access to their streaming service, and you can receive one movie at a time by mail from their rental service. To receive more than one movie at a time, you need to pay an additional fee. At Vision Video, you can get five movies for one week for only $5, and if you don’t rent movies, you don’t owe them anything.
Netflix, on the other hand, does not charge for usage. Even if you watch one movie a month, you’re still paying the monthly fee. Even though it should be relatively simple to cancel a subscription, some people may be discouraged from cancelling should they want to start watching movies again.
Apart from cost, a local business like Vision Video encouraged me to try new things. I often selected at least one film from the staff picks wall, and it has resulted in some of my favorite picks such as Aliens and The Brothers Grimm which are not available on Netflix.
Vision Video’s employees also provide a unique experience. They’re always friendly and they facilitate an important part of watching a movie– the discussion. The human interaction from handing an employee your stack of movies enhances the movie-watching experience. If they like one of the movies you chose, they’re going to let you know. It’s one thing to see a four star rating on Netflix, but it’s more meaningful when someone who obviously enjoys movies tells you to your face how great a movie is.
Once I was renting a collection of Mel Brooks films and Blade Runner, and I had multiple people tell me that they admired my choice of movies and that I had a wide range of great movies. He said Blade Runner was a sci-fi classic and Young Frankenstein was hilarious. I had seen Young Frankenstein on Netflix with pretty good reviews, but getting an actual human being to tell me that they loved it made me more excited to watch it. (Also, Young Frankenstein has since been removed from Netflix which just shows again the importance of a video rental store).
Netflix’s collection of movies and TV shows are not very consistent, they commonly remove certain titles. But once Vision Video gets a title, they keep it. Netflix has removed some of my favorite shows and movies, such as Psych, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and Nightcrawler. I took comfort in Vision Video’s collection because it kept me from stressing over if Netflix was going to remove The Office.
For an article I wrote earlier this year I needed to find a wide variety of 80s movies to watch and review. Only two of the ten that I wanted to watch were on Netflix. Vision Video had all of them. I walked in and out within twenty minutes carrying all of the movies that I needed, and I was able to watch and return them within the week I needed to write the article. I was devastated to find that my main source of 80s movies was closing
While Netflix is great for binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy or The Great British Baking Show, it doesn’t have the movie selection that Vision Video has. Netflix is also notorious for its large library of average movies that most people don’t really want to watch, but everyone can find something at Vision Video. If you don’t know what you want to watch, the employees are always happy to recommend one to you.
Vision Video will be officially closing their doors on December 23, and all 40,000 titles are on sale, and on December 16 their posters will be going on sale as well. I encourage everyone to go support my beloved video rental store in their final days. There’s no better way to say thank you for the past 31 years than to support them until they’ve officially moved out of the space.