Most of us still fondly remember family movie nights. Mom or Dad, usually with at least one or two kids in tow, would be dispatched to the video store to pick up a video. After much milling about in the aisles ("Breakfast Club! Can we pleeeeeaaaase get Breakfast Club?"), the night's entertainment would be grudgingly selected. Someone would pop popcorn, someone would pour the soda and the whole family would kick back in their PJ's to enjoy a movie at home.
These days, brick-and-mortar video stores are a dying breed. The DVD format, however, is still viable. DVDs often contain special material -- deleted scenes, commentary, interviews -- that gets stripped away when films are streamed online. For cinephiles especially, it's this added content that makes physical DVDs infinitely more attractive than online streaming.
Luckily, physical DVD rentals continue to be available, either by visiting a kiosk in person or by mail delivery. Movie services like Blockbuster, Netflix, Redbox and DVD Avenue serve up new releases and popular back-catalog hits, while sites like Green Cine, Tiger Cinema and Anime Takeout cater to niche audiences interested in art house, Asian or anime films. With rental prices as low as $1, DVD rentals remain a solid choice for budget movie buffs. But why pay even a buck when you can get your movie fix for free? We'll talk about DVD swap-and-loan services next.