We all knew the days of the traditional, expensive movie rental store were numbered.

At the time, new, automated, ATM-style systems became available, replacing the need for a regular store, just like online personal finance apps are replacing pen and paper. In my neighborhood, we had a store, called Original Video. The store was open 24 hours a day, and anyone who was a member could go and rent/return a movie whenever they wanted. The system had the ability to browse movies on the spot by genre or new release. You could recharge your account at the machine (which accepted cash) or with a debit card during “business hours”. The website allowed browsing of titles and reserving of movies.

In short, it was completely convenient, service was great AND the rental fees were significantly lower than regular movie rental stores. I was on a monthly plan for a total of (I think) $22.34 (including taxes) which let me rent an unlimited number of movies throughout the month, having 1 out at a time. It was a GREAT source of inexpensive entertainment… and I could get a kid’s movie during the day and a more adult interest movie for the evening.

More and more of these style machines began popping up all over the place. If you had a look around for one in your neighborhood, it was worth the look!

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