Tuesday, June 11, 2013

And Then There Was One

 The DV Den, 320 College Street Amherst

The second to the last movie rental store left in Amherst, The DV Den, has called it quits.  Or as they say in Hollywood, "Fade to black."

While the business was ahead of the curve at one time -- becoming the first rental operation in the area to phase out video tapes and go all-DVD in 2006, in the end it was a technological shift in the delivery of movies that all but exterminated the storefront movie rental industry.

Netflix made rentals as easy as point and click for instant access to thousands of movies, and if you did not mind waiting a day or two, first run DVD movies delivered to your mailbox.  All with a comparatively cheap low monthly subscription cost. 

The recent rise of Redbox was probably the final blow as first run moves were conveniently available in ubiquitous vending machines located near and far (one of them within disc throw of The DV Den) where the discs could be returned to any location and only costs $1.20 per rental, almost four times cheaper than the price charged by The DV Den.

Redbox, 360 College Street, Amherst

But you cannot ask a vending machine for a movie recommendation, or briefly discuss how your day is going thus far.

Efficiency always seems to be at the expense of humanity; and Amherst is now diminished because of it.


Adam Sweet said...

Larry do you know who owns the location? It would be a great place for a music store.

Larry Kelley said...

Phone number is posted in window.

Anonymous said...

The issue at DVD Den was they charged too much for a rental. $4 per DVD for a rental. When the Red Box was across the street at a $1 per night it was only a matter of time. But I am going to miss DVD Den, it was great when you wanted to rent an entire season TV series.

Anonymous said...

DVDen was a really nice business run by nice people. Sorry to see it go.

Anonymous said...

Everyone I know downloads movies.

Larry Kelley said...

Kids these days.

Anonymous said...

Sign of the times...wonder how the typewriter man stays in business...mystery?

Anonymous said...

I will miss the very pleasant customer service of the DVD den. And they saved my sanity at one point with having a whole series of a fave.

Anonymous said...

This is 1985 calling, we'll take you back.

Walter Graff said...

From Redbox 2012:

Total number of discs rented out of Redbox per minute 1600 discs
Total percentage of Redbox users who rent another movie upon return 25%
Total impression per week made by Redbox 200 million
Total number of discs dished out by Redbox 2 billion
Number of Redbox locations nationwide 29,000
Number of Redbox movies rented per week 9.5 million
Number of Redbox movies rented per day 1.2 million
Number of Redbox movies rented per hour 54,000
Number of Redbox movies rented per minute 900
Number of Redbox movies rented per second 15
Number of new Redbox’s that opened every minute in 2010 1

Anonymous said...

Now Captain Video of North Amherst is the sole movie rental store left in the valley.

Shelley T said...

It has always been a pleasure to stop in at DVDen, and, as noted, the movie advice: incomparable! A piece of my kids' childhood memories goes along with you, when you go. Sorry to see that happening to one of the "good guys" of the Happy Valley.
Wishing you all the best in whatever comes next, Jeff (may it be in earshot of the Maine ocean surf...).

Anonymous said...

So sorry to see them go. What a sad day for serious film fans. Red Box simply caters to the mall crowd and net Flix is not much better. Perhaps the good folks of Amherst could buy Jeff's inventory and place it in the town library as was done with Pleasant St Video in NoHo? We'll miss you Jeff.

Anonymous said...

I give up. I liked DV Den better than Captain Video, Red Box or Netflix. DV Den was on a short list of places that made living in a snobby town full of crazy yuppies bearable.

Anonymous said...

I just go to Amherst Coffee when I want to get away from the snobs and the yuppies.

Anonymous said...

Did DVDen rent pornographic videos? I seem to remember that I stopped going there with my kids because there was an "adults only" back room. Am I thinking of somewhere else?

Regardless, I'm sure it was a great place to stop and "discuss how your day is going thus far".

Anonymous said...


Jeff and dvden had a great run. They servered the Amherst area with a great catalog of DVDs for a long time. My hat goes of to him. I wish him the best and can honestly say he will be greatly missed.

It also a huge feather in Amherst's cap to keep not just one but two independent video store open and healthy long past any other town in the valley.

So that leaves us, Captain Video. We have been open since 1996 (17 years) and our customer bases has been incredibly supportive. Over the last few years we have serving more and more of the overall valley. We have about 27,000 movies at this point and it's all been built to our customers taste.

Last year we did 5% over the year before and this year we are holding steady. I don't know how long we'll keep going for but at this point I see no end in near sight.

Really I'm just very appresative to Amherst and the hill towns to the north of us to give us this chance to serve them good entertainment for this long.

Cheers to Jeff and to the whole staff at Dvden and to Amherst as well.

Captain Video
Captain Candy

Anonymous said...

Nolan, does "Captain Video" peddle porn?

Anonymous said...

Seems a bit tactless and no class to be shilling for Capt. Video here. I guess that's what's worst about DVDen closing. We're left with the late fee charging /$9.00 a pound candy place. How long before they raise prices, now that Capt. Video is tamping down the dirt on DVDen? I'll take Netflix, I guess.

Cheers to Amherst!

Larry Kelley said...

Nobody is putting a gun to your head to patronize any business in Amherst (that would be bullying and harassing, which we don't tolerate).