The idea of running a video rental store has been bouncing around at Reclaim Hosting for over a year now. When we started renovating the CoWork space/Reclaim Headquarters over a year ago we realized we would soon have a vacant strip mall storefront at our disposal. I started floating the idea of a video rental store to Tim, but given he was knee-deep in actually designing and building CoWork with Lauren, those discussions were postponed. At this point it was not clear how it related to anything else we already do, namely run Reclaim Hosting and CoWork—it was just a fun idea.
Despite the fact that it seems like a lot of fun, I’m curious how they’re going to make sure it doesn’t bring down the bottom line and put anything else in jeopardy. I certainly get the fun part, but the minimal break even portion doesn’t sound like it’s quite there to me.
The tough part of the physical media game is that these are magnetic tapes. While many of my 90’s VHS tapes are relatively fine, my VHS from the early 80’s are in worse shape. Tougher is having machines to play these successfully on. This post reminds me a lot of the difficulties I’ve heard from UCLA Film & Television archivists doing work on tapes themselves.