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.