Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A Lamentation for Premiere Video

The last couple of weeks have seen the closing of Premiere Video and it's subsequent liquidation sale, which, frankly, sucks.

A few weeks ago my daughter and I stopped in to make our near-weekly rentals (their kids movie rentals were just $0.99 and allowed you to get 3 additional kids movies for no extra charge, which meant we more often than not had 4 kids movies in our house for a buck per 5 days... not counting the dozens of times I paid late fees...). I caught a glance at the computer the clerk used to check out our movies and noticed that it said we had nearly 400 rentals all together, all having to have been in the last 2, maybe 3 years. 

I guess what I'm getting at is that we rented from Premiere a lot and we will miss it greatly. It fought an uphill battle for a long time and provided access to movies we couldn't get anywhere else. They allowed us to see a handful of movies not available to stream online and no longer available to purchase (curse Disney and "The Vault").

I often wondered how they managed to stay open in a world where most other movie & game rental stores have all but disappeared. They seemed to have beaten the driving factors all others couldn't. 

I arrived at the liquidation sale literally 2 minutes after the doors opened, and the place was packed with people scooping up whatever they could. Several of the movies I had targeted to get in an attempt to thumb my nose at the aforementioned Vault were already gone, and most of the crowd in the store became one long line to the check out. I'm not sure what to make of this. One clerk told me after the closing was announced that it wasn't a financial move, that the owners simply wanted to get out of the rental business, but I heard elsewhere that if as many people were regulars as had shown up for the liquidation sale, they could have remained in business. 

Regardless, dirt stains now cling to the building's facade after crews took down the business' sign, like some ghost of a forgotten and faded institution now limited to the annals of time and nostalgia. I wonder if my daughter will remember browsing those aisles 10-20 years from now. We already joke about how the invention of the DVR and streaming services like Netflix have already forever altered her experience with television, so this is just one more thing that she and others will sadly never get to experience much if ever again. 

It's amazing how something can exist one moment, and then just be gone in the next. 

So let's all take a moment and pause to reflect on the last of the large local video stores to give in and ride off into the sunset, even if we weren't quite ready for it to go.

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