It’s a rainy Friday evening, and the vibe is just right for a cinematic adventure. Some students are spending the night in with a significant other; others are planning a movie night with friends.
So where is the best place in town to rent movies that are both reliable and affordable? While there are many options in Manhattan, each location has its perks as well as problems.
Location: 1150 Westport Dr.
Web site: www.blockbuster.com
This national chain, with its sole location on the west side of campus, has a wide selection of new releases, popular titles, golden oldies and video games to choose from.
With a year-long rewards program, customers can receive special deals every month for $6.99 when they sign up.
“Our customers can make sure they get a copy of what they came in for … we try to make sure our customers go home happy,” said Greg Marquardt, assistant manager of Blockbuster in Manhattan.
PRICES: New releases are $3.99 for two days (without tax) and late fees for new releases is $1.49/day. Older releases are 3 rentals for $5 with a late fee of $.99/day.
PROS: Wide selection with the option of popcorn, candy, soda and movie memorabilia
CONS: Only one location; non-interactive Web site
Location: 66 Tuttle Creek Blvd.
Web site: www.gohastings.com
Hastings has a large inventory of movies to rent and buy with many different genres to choose from.
The store requires customers to have a membership to rent, but the membership is free.
Hastings also has a credit program that gives the customer a $2 credit for returning new releases the day after it is rented.
“If you use the next-day-credit return, it is probably the best deal in town,” said Adam Athavichitchanyaraks, service manager for Hastings.
Prices: New releases are $3.99/week with a $.50 late fee/day-past-due date. Older releases are $1.99/week with a $.25/day-past-due date. (There is no return credit for non-new releases.)
Pros: Large variety and availability; credit-return deal; movies, music, books, food, memorabilia also available
Cons: One location far from campus
Locations: 706 N 11th Aggieville, K-State Student Union, Candlewood
Phone: 785-776-6959 (Aggieville store)
Web site: www.ksudigitalshelf.com
The Web site features an updated inventory that allows customers to check for availability before coming in, and the customer can return movies to any location.
There is a discount punch card available, and the 10th punch is a free rental. Wednesdays serve as “double-punch” days.
“We have a more diverse inventory … we’re local; we know our customers,” said Digital Shelf employee Adam Peters.
Prices: New releases are $3/3 days and older releases are $3/1 week with late fees of $.50/day.
Pros: Updated inventory online, three interchangeable locations, local
Cons: Limited selection and availability
Locations: Van Zile and Kramer Dining Centers
Web site: www.housing.k-state.edu/dining/vanzilequikcats.php
Quik Cats has two locations on campus where students can rent: Vanzile and Kramer.
The variety includes new releases and popular titles, however, only one copy of each new release is available.
Quik Cats also has a deal allowing customers to keep two movies for two days, three movies for three days, etc.
“We have a large selection of movies in a convenient location and we provide everything to make student life easier such as food and snacks … we’re open ‘til 1 a.m., so stop by anytime,” said Christina Keys, assistant manager for Quik Cats.
PRICES: New releases are $3 for one day, and older releases are $.99 for two days. The late fee is the price of the rental for each day late. ($3/day for new releases.)
PROS: Convenient locations, food and drinks available
CONS: Small selection and short rental periods
REDBOX (MOVIE VENDING MACHINES)
Location: Entrance of Wal-Mart Supercenter, 101 E. Bluemont Ave.
Web site: www.redbox.com
Though many movie-renters might feel apprehensive about using these fairly new machines, they are indeed safe and reliable, and the movies are rented and returned at the Redbox for convenience.
There is a late fee charged to the customer’s account every day it is late, but after 25 days, rental charges cease and the DVD belongs to the customer.
There are about 100 DVDs in stock at one time, and new releases become available every Tuesday.
PRICES: $1 plus tax by debit or credit card. Late fee is $1 plus tax per day.
PROS: Convenient and reasonably priced, and customers can pick up a movie with their groceries
CONS: Only one location, and selection is limited.
Location: Only available through their Web site
Web site: www.netflix.com
You can go online to sign up at www.netflix.com.
Customers can browse thousands of different genres of movies and TV series, adding his or her choices to a list.
Postage is paid for, and there are no late fees.
PRICES: 1 movie at a time with a limit of 2 movies per month for $4.99.
1 movie at a time unlimited per month for $8.99
2 movies at a time unlimited per month for $13.99
3 movies at a time unlimited per month for $16.99
PROS: Large inventory; Option of watching online; No late or shipping fees
CONS: Some new releases can take a while to arrive; There are occasional shipping delays, but credit is given to the customer’s account when the delay is significant.