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Options make video stores obsolete
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CLEVELAND — Brick-and-mortar movie stores are few and far between in White County, leaving film fans with few options for renting the latest summer flicks.

But are residents concerned?

Not in the least.

The Movie Gallery at 641 S. Main St. in Cleveland is decorated with signs advertising an "everything must go" sale in conjunction with the store’s closing. Without that store, residents are left with two rental venues — the Redbox machine at Walmart and the video store inside Ingles . Two physical venues, that is.

Several local residents have gone virtual, streaming movies directly to their computers or ordering online through Netflix.

"I use Netflix," said Ali Taylor, a 23-year-old Cleveland resident. "It’s so much cheaper, and it’s better than anything else."

Netflix charges a monthly fee for its subscription service, which allows users to get movies delivered directly to their homes through the mail or over the Internet. More than 13 million people have signed up nationwide.

"My daughter gets Netflix all the time," said Lee Chambers, who was shopping in Cleveland’s Walmart. "They watch movies and get games, too."

The Redbox option at Walmart is also popular, though.

"It always seems like there’s two or three people (at the Redbox) when I go out," Chambers said.

For Cleveland resident Jon Coon, Redbox has always been the best choice.

"It’s actually more convenient because you’re probably going to have to come to the Walmart anyway," he said.

Customers can get a movie from the Redbox kiosk for $1 per day and return it to any Redbox location whenever they want.

"It’s just so much cheaper, and you don’t have to go bother dealing with people," Coon said. "You just stick your debit card in, pull it out, put your e-mail in, and they let you have it."

Nevertheless, some people simply prefer the more traditional movie stores, even if they have to make a special trip to get to the physical location.

"I don’t do Redbox because there’s not as much variety," said Cleveland resident Stacy Chapman as she picked up "Have You Heard About the Morgans?" from Ingles Video. "I’m too cheap to pay a monthly rental fee at Netflix, and I’m too cheap to go to the movie theater."

Other traditionalists, like William Hastings, just haven’t broken the habit of stopping by the physical store.

"That’s just what I usually do," Hastings said. "I grew up in Charlotte, N.C., and there used to be a Blockbuster right down the street from where I grew up. And it just recently closed down, so that’s unfortunate."

Fred Matheny makes a point to stop by the Blockbuster on Thompson Bridge Road in Gainesville every day, seeking the personal touch of an employee who can help him pick out the best new releases.

"They know me pretty well," Matheny said. "I don’t watch sports, I don’t watch half-hour or hour shows, so it’s always movies."