Something sad is happening in my town, and even though this isn’t a review, I can’t really let this go without a little mention. The local video rental store, which has been there for as long as I can remember and has stood the test of time, is finally closing. Video Ezy is closing down. I understand that this was inevitable, with Netflix and other streaming services becoming so popular and being so affordable, but Video Ezy was a part of my childhood. It has contributed to my love of movies and given me access to titles I never could find in DVD shops. And, so, since this is practically the end of an era, I thought I would do a little tribute to Video Ezy and video rental stores everywhere.
I remember when it was videos. Not DVDs, videos. My family would rent out the Land Before Time videos and other movies when I was little, and we’d watch them every day for the week we had them out. We’d always return them a day late, because they would never fine you for the first day; this way we could watch them more before we had to give them back.
Our Video Ezy was always a little overwhelming; shelves upon shelves of slightly disorganised DVDs, and even if you went in there with an idea of what you were going to rent, you’d always forget when you got there. Then you’d have too hunch over and scan the titles for hours on end, trying to find something that inspires you. And, let’s be real, most of them were scratched. But having to constantly skip through parts that would freeze, and rewind and fast-forward until you finally saw the bit you think you missed, was part of the fun. Well, not really. I spent ages trying to see one scene of Spy Kids 2 when I was 10 because it was so badly scratched. But it was definitely part of the experience. As was arguing with your parents over how many DVDs you could rent out. And the fines! I’ve had up to $30 before. Saying “I’ll pay it next time” every time made me feel a bit guilty, but they always got paid in the end.
Video Ezy was how I saw some of my favourite movies. The first time I saw the Princess Bride, arguably my favourite movie, was on a DVD from there (it too was scratched). The Avengers, Romeo + Juliet, Begin Again, Mrs Doubtfire… A friend and I even rented Keeping Up with the Kardashians from there one time, just for a laugh (we watched, like, one episode). It has been a source of entertainment for many years, and I can’t believe it won’t be there anymore.
And now they’re having a closing down sale. I’ve never seen more people in that one store; one lady had an enormous stack of like twenty DVDs, and said it was her second trip there. It’s been good to see the community supporting them so much, but I only wish we’d done it sooner, so they wouldn’t have to close. So I have to ask; if your local DVD store closes down, please at least support them in buying some DVDs. I can only speak for myself, but I don’t feel like streaming movies is the same as watching them on DVDs. Maybe I’m a bit old fashioned, but I will always love the idea of a movie rental store.
Thanks, Video Ezy.