Renting Movies Revisited

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By Marie Fitzsimmons
Staff Writer

Going to the movies is no longer a cheap date! The average movie ticket costs anywhere between $7 and $12 depending on where you live and the movie theater. If you’re lucky, you can see a matinee for a few dollars cheaper. Then add popcorn, drinks and candy to the tab, it can get pretty expensive. Instead of seeing every movie in the theater, most people wait for movies to come out on DVD, and then go and rent them. But where’s the best place to rent DVDs?

Well, right now, movie lovers have many options to choose from when deciding to rent a DVD. Going to a movie store is no longer the only choice!

Netflix, Blockbuster and Red Box have revolutionized the way people rent movies.

With today’s busy lifestyles, consumers prefer their movies to come directly to them. We no longer have to get in our cars to drive to a movie store and wait in line. This is possible by being a member of either Netflix or Blockbuster; both are online DVD rental services.

Basically, members go on the Netflix or Blockbuster website and make a list of DVDs they wish to rent. Netflix or Blockbuster sends your DVDs via mail (according to your plan).  Then for every DVD you return by mail, Netflix or Blockbuster will exchange it with another one from your list. Although they have some similarities, Netflix and Blockbuster also have many differences. Both have no late fees, and free shipping both ways. They both have many DVD titles to choose from, but Netflix has more.

Netflix has over 100,000 DVD titles, while Blockbuster only has over 85,000 titles to pick from. They both give new members a free trial, so they can test out their services. On Netflix’s website, you can watch movies instantly online if you’re a member. If you’re a member of Blockbuster, you can go on the website and download movies to watch.

Both online services provide different plans for their customers–the more movies you want the more expensive your plan will be. Blockbuster has cheaper plans ranging anywhere from $3.99 up to $34.99. Netflix plans can cost anywhere between $4.99 to $47.99. Since Blockbuster has brick and mortar locations, some plans allow you to exchange DVDs by mail or in-store. This is a better deal because it gives customers more options.

Because both services are so convenient, it’s hard choosing one over the other; but if you’re the type of person who doesn’t like paying monthly fees and you don’t mind driving to rent a movie, then the Red Box is for you.

A Red Box is like a movie vending machine. They are DVD rental kiosks and they are located at most grocery stores, which is very convenient for shoppers. The DVDs only cost a $1 dollar a day; however, you do need to have a credit card to rent DVDs from the machine.

Red Box only has new releases so the selection is a lot smaller. New DVD releases are added to every Red Box every Tuesday. You also have the option of returning your DVDs to any Red Box; you don’t have to go to the same Red Box you rented from.

Although Red Box is a new movie rental service, it’s gaining in popularity. Jill Gordon, a student at Marywood said, “I rent all my DVDs from the Red Box at the Giant supermarket, as a college student I like paying only a dollar for a movie.”

So the next time it’s a raining day or there’s just nothing to do in Scranton, go out and rent a movie at a Red Box near you.

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