Quentin Tarantino. Kevin Smith. Without these filmmakers, the cinema world would be vastly different — and poorer for it. I mention the pair as they are connected by this one fact: They both worked at video rental stores before becoming world renown directors. Both learned much about movies during their stint working at this retail level. Without a doubt, that experience of curating and sifting through hours of VHS tapes shaped how they created their cinematic body of work. But the video store today is an endangered animal, a disappearing beast of the ever-shifting brick and mortar landscape.

Mention the retail ghost that was Blockbuster (declared bankrupt in 2010) or video rental stores in general, and an entire generation of young people may stare blankly at you, as if you’ve landed in from another planet. It’s remarkable how in just a few short years the media consuming landscape has been so utterly transformed. Today, I don’t think twice about streaming a movie or TV show, convenient in not being tied down to traditional schedule grids. But that’s assuming that Netflix or any other streaming service like Hulu has the actual title I want, which is not necessarily a given.

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