It’s Easier to Rent Porn than Peckinpah

Want to watch Klaus Kinski in Cobra Verde tonight? Good luck finding a copy. 
After an informal survey, I have discovered that in New Haven County it’s easier to rent pornography than regular movies.

I came up with this theory while discussing with some people how hard it is to rent an actual movie in New Haven. I’m not talking about RedBox – that’s more akin to Netflix or downloading a movie; it’s too sterile and robotic of a service for me to count it as an actual video rental experience; and they don’t have old movies.

So, here’s a list of all the places in New Haven County (Milford to Madison, Waterbury to New Haven) you can rent regular, non-pornographic movies:

That’s it. The only one. And though I love its enormous collection, coffee bar, and unique categorizations, it’s a 20-minute, gas-draining trek through the back roads of New Haven and Hamden from my house. It’s an even longer trek from Branford or Milford or, god forbid, Meriden.

(Sadly, Dial M for Movies in Madison closed around two months ago, the last video rental store between New London and New Haven as far as I know.)

But if you want to rent porn, you’re totally covered. Here is a list of places that rent adult movies – and these are just a few, there are many more.
-VIP, Orange
-Video Temptations, Naugatuck
-Luv Boutique, Milford
-Everything Adult, West Haven
-Romantix, New Haven

I’m not saying it’s a bad thing that we have so many porn rental choices around here. I’m saying it’s ironic that it’s now easier around here to rent a derided (so far as litigation and moral outrage) genre than actual movies.

Video rental for me, as a person who grew up during the heyday of video rental stores and chains, is extremely fun; there’s nothing I like more on a Saturday or Sunday than walking into a store filled with tiny little boxes that I can take home and explore.

That’s a tactile experience that neither Netflix nor RedBox will ever fulfill. Netflix has a big, deep (as in thoughtful) collection, but there are many, many titles missing; RedBox is just for re-watching last summer’s blockbusters. At Best Video I can get anything – season two of “Homicide: Life on the Streets,” or “Cobra Verde” or, like, the Criterion Collection “Repo Man.” And, I can ask a clerk to make a recommendation if I need it.  

Is this Alabama? No one around here wants to rent actual movies? What a cultural failure, a void created by laziness. And in that void, porn thrives. 

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