Over the last several months, we have attempted to cover the unfortunate collapse of the chain video rental store, as well as the rise and success of streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, along with the more recent success that the $1-A-Night movie dispenser, Redbox, has experienced.
It looks like the folks over at Point.360 have seen the writing on the wall, and created MovieQ, a self serve video rental location. Each store houses 8 rental machines, over 10,000 movies (compared with an average of 600 in a Redbox Kiosk), along with the usual movie watching supplements (popcorn, candy, etc.). It looks like the stores are set up so that if the machines are all in use, you can browse through mock shelves, which the selections of DVDs that are available to rent, thus maintaining the magic that comes along with finding a movie that you didn’t realize was available on DVD, a movie you’ve never heard of, or maybe just a movie that you haven’t watched in years.
The kiosks also offer trailers for most of the films, and according to The OC Register, who initially reported on this story, MovieQ’s will stock new releases, as well as older films like “The Ten Commandments.” MovieQ’s are also one-upping Redbox by stocking Blu-ray’s and Video Games. The only downside I can see at this point is that there are only two locations in Southern California (Westminster and Costa Mesa), with one more opening soon.
Honestly, if the video rental store is doomed, then this is certainly the way I’d like to see things go. The overhead for a business like this must be much smaller than maintaining a full retail location like Blockbuster, as there are probably only a minimum number of employees to keep things running. Now of course, the major downside to that is the lack of insight you’ll have access to when you cannot find, or remember, the title of that movie with that guy, you know the one?
Do you live in the Orange County? Head over to a MovieQ and let us know what the experience is like. With the recent comments by the CEO of Redbox, Mitch Lowe, regarding the irrelevance of having a larger catalog of titles, I’d much rather support MovieQ, as they apparently are even stocking Criterion DVDs, according to these screen shots I grabbed from the MovieQ websites. While the titles were mostly sold out (which I’m taking as a positive sign), it is inspiring to know that not everyone in the $1 video rental market sees things like Mr. Lowe.
Source: OC Register
Screenshots from the MovieQ Locations, after searching for “Criterion”