Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Goodbye Old Friend

There comes a time in every man’s life when he has to face facts that certain things are not going to work like they used to.  Just because he had a lot of fun in a certain way in the past doesn’t mean that that fun will be able to continue.  I discovered how to have this fun more than 25 years ago.  It brought thousands of hours of enjoyment to me, and sometimes to others, too.  It was a great friend; on the spur of the moment I could take it out and be enjoying myself within minutes.  When not using it I could easily put it away for later.  It was even conveniently sized to fit perfectly in my hand.  I’m referring to my movie rental card, of course.

I think I first got it before I even owned a VCR.  If not, I definitely had it no later than that (1989).  I don’t want to think about how much money I must have spent over the years on renting movies with it.  As you can see from the picture, this card has received a lot of use.

Times change, though.  Movie rental places, if not already closed, are on their way out. They have mostly been replaced by Netflix and Redbox.  The youngest bloggers out there have never even owned a rental card.  As for me, I haven’t used this card for probably four years.

Why am I getting nostalgic about it now?  I just bought a new wallet and that meant transferring various items over to it from the old wallet.  I tossed a few things that I didn’t use anymore, but I paused when I came to this rental card.  I stopped to realize that I’ve had it for more than half my life.  It may be in bad shape, but this card literally outlasted two different rental chains. 

It was originally for a local chain called Home Vision Video.  They were eventually bought out by a large national chain named Movie Gallery.  They transferred the records over, so my old card still worked with them.  Even after I joined Netflix I still occasionally rented movies from Movie Gallery, but once Redbox came in, at one quarter the price for new movies, that signaled the end.  I wasn’t too proud to play scavenger, picking up a bunch of used DVDs on the cheap from stores that were going out of business.  I still haven’t gotten around to watching all of them.

Anyway, I don’t think I’m going to throw this card away.  No, I’m not going to frame it and hang it on a wall, but I’ll keep it someplace where I’ll notice it now and then and be reminded of all the great times it brought me.

Chip’s Movie Rental Card
1989 – 2013

Goodbye old friend


  1. When I threw out my rental cards I realized that I had not been using them for years. There are hardly any video rental shops lefta and those that are are mostly empty. It is the end of an era. Give it a good respectful burial.

  2. If I still had my card from when I first started renting, it would have been when we had to rent the VCR and the movie at the same time. No one I knew owned a VCR.

    1. I remember those VCRs with the top loaders on them. I was lucky enough to have a friend with a VCR so that's why I'm pretty sure I had this card before I had a VCR myself. He or I would rent movies to watch together.