I don’t like drinking in bars and I can’t dance (or rather I shouldn’t dance, think of the children). That means my things to do options are pretty limited on a Saturday night if I want to get out of the house without spending a ridiculous amount of money. I can pay $15 to see a 3D movie and get a headache, I can go out to eat and get even fatter, or I can wander around looking for DVDs.
Video browsing used to be a national ritual. As soon as I was old enough to get a rental card in the 90s, my friends and I would invariably spend our evenings wandering around the sole Blockbuster in our tiny town (it was either that or go roll boulders off the dam, not much to do in small town Texas unless you count meth), looking for movies to rent, laughing and talking while we browsed, and generally annoyed everyone in sight. But nobody goes to Blockbuster anymore. You have Netflix don’t you? Even I don’t go. But I do still go DVD shopping when I want to buy. Sure I could order DVDs from Amazon and I’d almost certainly find them easier, quicker, and possibly even cheaper. I could do that, but then I’d never leave the house. Sometimes you’ve just got to get out of your living room.
So these days, on those weekends where I don’t have plans with friends or anything better to do, I wander into Best Buy. There used to be other places, better places, to go shopping for DVDs and Blu-Ray. They’re all going out of business. Circuit City is no more. CompUSA is all but non-existent. The smaller DVD sales chains are vanishing and the ones that are still around, truth be told, generally suck. Best Buy’s DVD and Blu-Ray selection has never exactly been first rate, but it’s better than that of the few competitors left, and in most cities it’s literally all we have. Or it used to be. Now you’ll have nothing. Best Buy is ditching DVDs and Americans are rapidly running out of excuses to leave their house.
This depressing news comes from Daily Finance where they say that the last remaining electronics chain of note plans to start slashing the amount of store space allotted to DVDs this holiday season. They’ll take out all those lovely (and already sadly dwindling) racks and rows of glistening DVD cases and replace them with video games (which people are still buying, presumably only because Netflix and Redbox don’t offer them) and… you guessed it… iPads. Thanks for that Apple.
They’re ditching CD sales too, but that’s far less of a surprise. Nobody buys music CDs anymore. People do still buy DVDs, but selections in the stores that sell them are so limited you’re almost forced to order from Amazon even if you don’t want to. I spent a good 3 weeks checking every Target and Best Buy within a thirty mile radius of my house before I finally found a single, slightly battered, copy of Mystery Team (a movie which everyone should own). Sure I could have simply ordered it from Amazon and had it on day 2, but then what would I do on the weekends? Learn to dance? The horror. Now though, like it or not, I’ll be forced to drag out my boogey shoes.
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