The Oregonian has the unsurprising but still kinda lousy story that Hollywood Video is kaput, at least as far as Oregon's concerned.
Hollywood's parent notified state officials Monday that it will shut down all of its 35 Oregon stores and phase out its Wilsonville corporate headquarters by October, costing 60 people their jobs.
The closures are part of a larger national shutdown of the company's nearly 2,500 outlets. The Movie Gallery, which acquired Hollywood for $1.2 billion in 2005, initially announced when it filed for bankruptcy in February that it would close only about half its stores.
Admittedly, I was never a huge fan of the movie rental experience at Hollywood Video, but it's still shitty to see local video stores closing down like this.
Like everyone else on the planet, I have a Netflix account and a laptop—but I still try to patronize Movie Madness and Videorama every once in a while. There's something about browsing the aisles at your local store that far surpasses the instant gratification of Netflix or a Redbox outside of McDonald's: you find weird crap you never knew existed, you're reminded of films you'd have never remembered otherwise, you have the terrifying realization that Steve Guttenberg was, at one dark time, in a lot of movies. And speaking as a child of the '80s, video stores were just as important as movie theaters—if not more important than movie theaters—as a way to learn about, experience, and discover film.
So yeah, seeing any video store shutter its windows kinda bums me out. Here's hoping Movie Madness and Vidorama—and Trilogy, and Clinton St. Video, and Video Verite—manage to stick around for a long time to come.