I don’t know if there is anyone else out there who is somewhat perturbed that all the movie rental stores have closed. Honestly, I was part of the reason for it as well because I only used Blockbuster as a last resort since Redbox and Netflix were so much cheaper.

But what do you do when you want to watch an older movie that Redbox doesn’t carry? You can order it from Netflix and wait 3 days for it to arrive, which is not always preferable in our “instant” cultural mindset, or you could buy it and hope that you didn’t waste $15 on a movie that sucks.

I’m starting to really miss movie rental stores!

Discovering Black Lodge Video

It was this sad realization that an entire era of the movie experience may be over that drove me to discover one of Memphis’ hole-in-the-wall gems. I had heard about Black Lodge Video before, but because of its distance from my house, I never actually ventured to it. However, this past week, I had a craving for some classic films that I couldn’t find anywhere, so I decided to take the 30 minute drive from my house and check out the only remaining movie rental store in the city.

It’s set up in this old house, and the entire store has this wonderful feeling of nostalgia when you walk in. I started browsing, and to my great surprise, I discovered that they organized their movies by director! For anyone who is a true movie buff, I know you will understand my excitement. For those of you who don’t care about who directed a film, shame on you!

A More Personal Experience

I walked up and down the aisles, and I realized how much I missed going to a store to rent a movie for a Friday night. There’s some kind of magic there with all the movies lined up on the walls, just waiting for you to take them home and jump into their worlds. Sure, netflix and red box are great, but it’s really not the same. It’s not as personal when a computer suggests a movie that you might like compared to a human being who has watched and loved the film they are recommending.

Ranging from cult classics to recent blockbuster successes, Black Lodge Video has a huge selection for varied tastes. Alfred Hitchcock, Francois Truffaut, Woody Allen, Ray Harryhausen, Howard Hawks, and Orson Welles are just a few names to wet your appetite.

With Gain, There is Always Loss

I could feel the love for great cinema the minute I walked into Black Lodge Video, and I instantly felt at home there. I love having access to so many great films through the internet, but with this gain, I feel like there has also been a loss.  The more accessible movies have become, a certain amount of wonder has been lost as well. It’s not as exciting to rent a movie with the click of a mouse as it is to pick it up in a store.

I’m really glad that places like Black Lodge Video still exist because I think they are extremely important to the film world. If you haven’t checked them out, I encourage you to do so. Or if you don’t live in Memphis, find a local hole-in-the-wall video store to support. I think that’s where the true fans are.

What are some of your experiences with Black Lodge Video? Do you have your own favorite video store?

Rachel M Taylor

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Rachel is a writer/director. She loves character driven movies and really good cheese.

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