I don't know about you, but I've noticed the demise of a lot of movie rental shops in recent times. I can only guess it's the combined impact of Netflix, Redbox and other internet streaming tools that have made it difficult for these shops to survive, especially in this economy. So a few weeks ago, I was all in the mood to watch a movie and I didn't have anything in from Netflix that I hadn't watched and the nearest Redbox was a half a mile away (that's far when you live in Manhattan) and I thought— maybe, just maybe, there's actually a movie rental shop in my neighborhood. I Googled it and found a super shop called World of Video. (It's such a straightforward title that it sounds ironic and hipster.)
World of Video is located a convenient 5-minute walk from my front door (awesome) and boasts more than 30,000 titles (wow), including a collection of silent films. Because of the vastness of the collection, it's a natural place to go when you're looking for something obscure, which, in fact, I was. I was looking for one of my absolute favorite movies, The Out-of-Towners remake from 1999 with Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn. For some reason, this movie seems to be so difficult to find. Netflix doesn't even have it in stock! (Say wha?!) I walked in, and the friendly staff at World of Video pulled it off the shelf within seconds. Admittedly, they did rib me when I said it was one of my favorites and asked me if I've seen the original. (I'll be honest, I haven't.) The guys behind the counter are serious movie watchers. There is a poster for each staff member on the front of the counter that has their names and their top 10 favorite movies. They recommend titles and I hear they have specialties. (Here's an article about the store.)
The only problem is that it's pricey— $5 for a one-night rental. You can buy an annual membership (first year, just less than $22) that comes with a few free rentals and then rentals are $4.75. Or you can buy rentals in bulk for cheaper. Even at these prices, it doesn't feel like a rip-off, since they are a specialty shop in a business that's changing, and they're paying West Village rent.