The Last of the Mohicans: How NYC’s holdout video stores have hung on

From the October issue: In 21st-century New York, watching a movie no longer requires leaving the apartment. Thanks to the likes of Netflix and On Demand, a seemingly inexhaustible supply of films and TV shows now appears at the touch of a button.

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But what about those who want to pick out a movie at an actual video store? These days, that’s becoming more and more difficult. The number of video rental shops fell 17 percent in the city from 885 in 2002 to 731 in 2007, according to the most recent U.S. Census data.

Movie rental giant Blockbuster filed for Chapter 11 in 2010. And, many mom-and-pop video rental stores have closed, too, as a result of online competition, following in the footsteps of other contracting industries like bookstores (see Borders) and music shops (see Tower Records) that have also shuttered in the last few years. [more]

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