Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Video Hut's Virtues: Like the Early 90's

A reader posted a comment to my "You're Killing Me, Blockbuster" post. He suggested Video Hut on Hope St. as an alternative to Blockbuster. I checked it out last night. It felt like back in the day- shelves you could see over with easily visible labels. Video Hut may have less movies than Blockbuster, but the shelving is manageable, the guys at the front desk are knowledgeable, and it's locally-owned.
PRO: Video Hut is smaller, but seems to have a wider selection of videos. The owner picks out the DVDs, meaning there are choices that aren't standard hits since an individual's taste plays a role, rather than just numbers.
PRO: Knowledgeable staff. The guys who worked there enthusiastically recommended movies and chatted about them as if they cared, unlike the helpful but clinical BB staff.
PRO: The new comedies are in the comedy section, so you don't have to wade through all the other genres. At Video Hut, I wandered over to the comedy section-and under "new" I saw A Dog Year with Molly Shannon. I remember seeing good reviews of it in the New York Times and People Magazine, and thinking I'd like to see it. Did I see any sign of it in Blockbuster? No. Was it there? Maybe, but I never would have stumbled upon it at in BB's extensive mish-mosh of new movies.
BB has hundreds of "new arrivals" along the wall, but each shelf has 30 copies of a popular movie that stars well-known actors but got mediocre reviews. And, all 30 of the copies are gone. The genres are all mixed together. If you're super-lucky, you might see that movie you wanted... but it's probably checked out. If it's an older movie you're looking for, good luck finding it in the maze of shelves.
SORTA PRO: Video Hut may have LESS copies of the newest hits, but at least there's only 5 copies. You feel more like you have a chance of getting it. When you see 30 copies of a movie and they are all gone, you feel hopeless that you'll ever get it... but maybe that's just me.

Check out Video Hut. Don't have crazy-high expectations; just enjoy it for what it is.

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