First, people decided they didn't want to drive to the movie theater. These days they aren't too keen on driving to the video store, either.
In a sign of the times, Netflix, based in Los Gatos, saw its stock price top $100 a share Thursday after posting blowout earnings — the same week that another Blockbuster outlet closed, this one on 29th and K streets in Sacramento.
On Freeport Boulevard in Land Park, a Hollywood Video is also preparing to shut down. Customers were greeted Thursday with signs announcing closeout deals of up to 75 percent off.
Brick and mortar video stores are under pressure from the online world, just like record stores and booksellers before them. We want to rent DVDs quickly by mail or pick them up at the supermarket. And that's if we bother handling a physical disc at all. Increasingly, we just stream movies on laptops and smart phones or download them right to our PlayStations or Xboxes, so we can watch them on our flat-panel TVs.
"The model has changed," said Maithu Bai, owner of Awesome Video, an independent video rental store on Freeport Boulevard. "It's not just here; it's across the nation. In these times, people want something new."
Blockbuster and Hollywood Video are closing local outlets as nationally, both companies feel the heat from game changers like Netflix and Redbox, which rents movies for $1 a night out of vending machines in supermarkets.
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