Rocket Video Almost a Netflix Killer

rocket2.jpgSpeaking of Netflix, I know they’re a great service and serve a lot of people well, but those of that you live near Rocket Video at La Brea and Melrose might reconsider that monthly fee. It’s not a perfect replacement, but Members at Rocket get rentals for $2.49, and they have two-for-one rentals on Tuesday and Thursday. So, for ~$20 month you get four DVD’s a week and no throttling. They have an awesome, large selection including indie, cult and documentary stuff and a friendly and fun staff. Sure, you have to actually go the video store instead of wallowing in your own filth, but you’re supporting an independent, locally owned business. They also put on cool events and screenings, and if you’re lucky you might run into Diedrich Bader or Ron Livingston browsing the new releases.
Photo courtesy of some guy on this forum.

11 thoughts on “Rocket Video Almost a Netflix Killer”

  1. Awe man, if that store wasn’t so far I’d consider getting a membership. I was thinking of signing up for Netflix but I never really have time to watch movies anymore.

  2. While rocket video definitely has a large selection of rare movies, it most certainly does not have a friendly and fun staff. Everytime my boyfriend and I have gone in, they have been rude and unpleasant.

  3. There are a few (at least) video stores scattered around the LA area that are like this. That is, they provide a much greater diversity of indie, art, foreign, etc., films than Netflix.

    We are in Santa Monica and Vidiots Video on Pico at 3rd is great. Also on the Westside (on Santa Monica Blvd where it goes under the 405) is Cinephile. When I lived in Silverlake I used to go to a place (can’t remember the name now) at Griffith Park Blvd and Fountain/Hyperion.

    A year or so ago when Netflix started throttling our very active account (no more 2-day turnaround) we dropped them. Ironically, now I no longer have time for more than 1 or 2 movies a week if that, and so the per-movie rental fee at Vidiots is cheaper than the monthly fee we’d be paying to Netflix.

  4. Cinefile, the greatest video store ever, also hsa a Netflixish plan where for $24.95 a month you can have 2 videos out at a time, with no additional fees and no throttling, for $5 more you can have three. And you can’t beat that kind of action at a video store that organises their videos by director or one that has a “shade tippin'” section for movies with “shade tippin'” boxcovers.

  5. Must concur that vidiots and rocket are viable alternatives to netflix. I like your point about getting off your ass and venturing forth into society, not to mention the fact that both stores continue to cater to the VHS crowd. The quality may be crap but not everything you’d expect has been released on DVD yet (e.g., something as mainstream as delicatessen).

    Disclaimer: I live walking distance from rocket and used to live about three blocks from vidiots, so I am sort of spoiled. I have no experience with cinefile other than browsing before a random nuart screening. Also heard good things about ‘a video store named desire’ just down the street from cinefile. Anyone?

  6. for those of us on the other side of town, the place on fountain/hyperion is video journeys and it is, indeed, bangin’.

    the first time i visited LA i ran into some guy i knew there. that’s when i knew that i should probably just move here if i ran into folks i knew at the video store.

  7. is there a good video store near vermont and melrose??
    i would love to support a “indie” video shop instead of netflix.

  8. is there a good video store near vermont and melrose??
    i would love to support a “indie” video shop instead of netflix.

    Hmmm…good question. Mondo Video is very close to there, but it’s super specialized in cult and bizarre films. There’s a video hut at Vermont and Hillhurst, but I don’t know what their rates are like.

  9. When I was in college, I used to rent videos and dvds from “a video store named desire”. At that time (9-8 years ago), VHS were only $1.00 and DVDs were something like $1.50.

    The staff was great and they would even hold movies for you, which to my knowledge is unheard of..

  10. I live in Hollywood and have close access to many of the video rental shops but still remain amazed as to what I find on Netflix.

    I look for stuff like vintage country music or bluegrass banjo instruction and they have it. The response time is amazing.

    Then there is an old Terry Thomas Brit comedy “Operation Snatch” (Barbary apes on Gibraltar) that no one seemes to have.

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