Albemarle Video Rental Shop Still Fighting to Survive
Dec 28, 2012 04:35 PM EST
It wasn't that long ago that running down to the movie shop to rent something for the weekend was pretty commonplace. Then Netflix killed Blockbuster and Hollywood Video.
But that fate may not apply to one of Albemarle County's last remaining brick-and-mortar movie stores.
With the rise of Redbox and Netflix, video rental shops like Sneak Reviews on Ivy Road have taken a hard hit financially. But with business picking up over the holidays, the owner says they will fight to keep their reel going a little longer.
"This really became my favorite and most common spot," said David Weiss, a customer at Sneak Reviews. "I've been coming here for years just because they have the biggest selection of stuff."
Weiss has checked out a movie from Sneak Reviews almost every weekend for the past 20 years. But unlike him, many people are more attracted to options like Redbox and Netflix. Movie rental shops are on the decline, but Sneak Reviews is fighting to stay alive.
"We want to keep going as much as we can. We're hoping other people find out about us - there's a good part of the city we think that doesn't know we exist - that hopefully we can continue for a couple more years," said Mark Tramontin, owner of Sneak Reviews.
Sneak Reviews offers 32,000 different films in Blu-ray, DVD and VHS formats, but Tramontin says it's personal interaction with customers and the community that sets his store apart.
"We get to know what they like, so when you come in here, you get a personal service. People walk in the door, we tell them what to rent, what not to rent. We know their taste, and we're losing a lot of that, I think, in our communities," he said.
This personal service keeps Weiss coming back year after year.
"I grew up in the old days of card catalogs and libraries and when I was doing research, it was always more fun to, ‘oh yeah here's something.' It's the same thing here. You see things that you didn't expect to see. That's what makes it fun," Weiss said.
Sneak Reviews is open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. All movies cost less than $5 to check out for four days, which they emphasize is actually cheaper than a Redbox rental for the same amount of time.
Click here to visit Sneak Reviews' website, click here for the Facebook page.
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