EDITORIAL: Rented time
Technology marches us relentlessly forward, with little regard for what’s been left behind.
It seems video stores will be the latest casualty.
When Rogers closes its final location on the North Shore, movie lovers will be left with one small independent store from which to rent DVDs and Blu-rays. They’ll join CD/record stores on the technological scrapheap, killed off by the convenience and immediacy of streaming services and digital downloading.
There was a time when the Lower Mainland was the place to be for music lovers. CD stores stocked with every genre imaginable stood shoulder to shoulder and competed ruthlessly on price. Shoppers could lose themselves for hours in the aisles, discovering new or unknown bands because a CD cover or unusual name caught their eye.
For many, a trip to the video store offers the same experience, scanning the shelves for something that might pique their interest, feed their mood for a comedy, a drama, a romance. Sometimes we don’t know what we’re looking for until we find it.
But that kind of serendipity is difficult when browsing a digital database online or a menu on your TV. Scanning through those choices can be time consuming, with limited visual cues to attract your eye, rouse your curiosity.
And while a quick click over to Rotten Tomatoes might give you a sense for the quality of the movie you’re thinking of downloading, it doesn’t beat overhearing the comments of other browsers in the store, or soliciting the opinion of a knowledgeable clerk at the counter.
Heck, director Quentin Tarrantino once worked at a video store.
It’s doubtful there’s a future great director feeding his film jones working the customer service call centre for a video on demand service.
- Black Press