Is Redbox redlining South & Central Seattle?


It’s not like we don’t have any QFCs, Walgreens, 7-11’s or McDonalds in our neck of the woods, storefronts where Redbox co-locates its dollar-a-day DVD rental vending machines. It’s just that our QFCs, Walgreens, 7-11’s and McDonalds don’t have any Redboxes.



  1. 2


    slingshot @1,

    What local independent, mom’n pop movie shops? They mostly closed up a decade ago.

    Meanwhile, now the big chains or closing up. The Rainier Valley just lost it’s only dedicated video store, Hollywood Video. You can rent at Safeway I suppose, but I’m not sure where else.

  2. 3

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Forgive me, Goldy, but it’s sort of my feeling that not being able to rent movies from a vending machine at your local 7-11 isn’t exactly the most pressing issue facing humanity.

  3. 6

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    You know, declare it an “open thread” much like Paris was declared an “open city” in 1940.

  4. 9

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Redbox was initially funded by a venture capital subsidiary of McDonald’s, the fast food giant, and subsequently was acquired by Coinstar, a publicly traded company.

  5. 10

    uptown spews:

    @3 Guess that depends on if you live in those areas or not, and as we know Goldy does…it’s his blog.

  6. 11

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @10 My comment @3 has nothing to do with where Goldy or anyone else lives. Video rentals is not of the same importance as the usual subjects of this blog. Being unable to rent movies from a vending machine near your home is a trivial nuisance at worst.

  7. 12

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Toyota Hired Ex-Officials To Block Investigations

    “Feb. 12 (Bloomberg) — Former regulators hired by Toyota Motor Corp. helped end at least four U.S. investigations of unintended acceleration by company vehicles in the last decade, warding off possible recalls, court and government records show.”

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: Last decade … lessee … that would be the Bush administration.

    The Japanese murder whales in the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary, too.

  8. 14

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    Are the Redbox people afraid the residents might break ito their machines and steal?

  9. 17

    Politically Incorrect spews:


    I meant the residents of South & Central Seattle. Is Redbox afraid their machines will be the target of theft by the residents of those areas?

  10. 18

    lebowski spews:

    Perhaps Redbox did a business study and didnt think there would be much demand in those areas. OR maybe they ARE avoiding them because of the crime rate- and what is wrong with that? Would YOU want to open up a business in a high crime area? hell no.

    Not sure why Goldy thinks there is some nefarious reasoning.

  11. 20

    ArtFart spews:

    @2 You’re right, Goldy…about the only truly significant “indie” video rental place around here I can think of is Scarecrow, and they’re really not completely independent. There might be an Island store or two left, but the last one of those I was in appeared to be doing most of its business selling lattes.

    Our son used to work for Blockbuster, and they’re on a track to go online and phase out their brick-and-mortar stores. Hollywood Video’s parent company filed for bankruptcy last week.

  12. 21

    czechsaaz spews:


    Crime is a red Herring on this one. The boxes are located in brightly lit public spaces. If crime were to happen in those spaces, are the criminals going to after the McDonald’s register or a hard to break into vending machine with a limited amount of cash? Go for the QFC register or a hard to access and not fenceable DVDs? Ever see a usde DVD that didn’t come with original packaging?

    The exclusive video rental business is dead. Killed by Netflix for heavy consumers and RedBox for light consumers. The niche or obsessively comprehensive stores may sputter along another decade or so but it’s over for them too. True VOD will kill them eventually.

    My first ever job was a 16 year-old video store clerk with all of the stereotypes that come with it. I have a vast working knowledge of the number of boobs per frame of bad 80’s comedies. Acutally I guess the paper route came first but that was for a local weekly that has also gone the way of the video store.

  13. 22

    rhp6033 spews:

    # 14: Steal what??? A $1.00 DVD?????? The RedBox machines don’t take cash, you have to use your credit card (they bill you when you return the video, taking on extra day’s rentals when you forget to return it on time).

    I use Redbox when I want to rent, there are three machines within a short distance of my home in Everett (two at Albertson’s, one at Walgreens).

    Hollywood Video is trying to compete by offering $1.00 rentals, and you can return it anytime you like. I’m sure there have to be some restrictions, but they weren’t spelled out in the radio advertisement I heard this week. Moreover, even Redbox may be doomed by NetFlix (download on command) or internet-streaming video offerings. Why drive to a store to rent a video when you can order one up via your internet, and watch it moments later on the big screen for a minimal monthly fee ($4.95 or so?) with virtually unlimited downloads?

  14. 23

    Debate's Over spews:

    Being unable to rent movies from a vending machine near your home is a trivial nuisance at worst.

    Silly Rabbit. Videos are air to air breathers, food to omnivores (and their dilemmas), Everclear to Rabbits. Videos are vital.

    That’s why Seattle Pulbic Library has to cut back hours. SPL needs to keep its budget going where the budget is truly life-and-death needed: loading up on thousands of bad movies to put Blockbuster and Netflix out of business.

    Check the SPL online catalogue. Notice the hundreds and thousands of bad movies that are “lost.” SPL is performing the vital service of giving free soft porn to the needy.

    And then look at SPL’s CD catalogue. Almost everything any Windows Player pirate could ever want.

    Makes me proud to be a taxpayer.

  15. 26

    Debate's Over spews:

    boobs per frame

    Please. Let’s not spoil my day with a discussion of Michael Moore movies.

  16. 27

    Michael spews:

    Red Box? Net Flix? I quit my Net Flix account when I realized that 80% of the movies in my queue were available for free through the Pierce County Library. Why pay for something you can get for free?

  17. 28

    Puddybud is Sad for Steve's Loss spews:


    I use Redbox when I want to rent, there are three machines within a short distance of my home in Everett (two at Albertson’s, one at Walgreens).

    Damn dude we’re neighbors!

  18. 29

    rhp6033 spews:

    In other words, wait a couple of years, and by them perhaps it will be a dead issue, as Blockbuster, Hollywood Video, and Redbox may all be out of business.

    I heard that Redbox supplemented it’s business plan recently by receiving large payments from major movie studios NOT to rent their videos for several months. The movie studios saw Redbox rentals as cutting into their DVD sales. Why spend $24.95 on a DVD of a blockbuster hit, when you can rent them for a $1.00 and see it ten times, and still save half your money????

    One thing the $1.00 rentals show is the incredibly low cost of the DVD format. On store shelves, the packaging and cover art costs considerably more than the DVD itself. A Redbox video, which comes in a standard Redbox plastic cover which keeps the DVD’s bar code displayed to facilitate vending and returns, has to cost little more (or less) than the $1.00 first-time rental.

    I can’t imagine that there is really much of a demand now for used DVD’s once the DVD is available to the general public. Unless it is somehow a collector’s item, it simply has very little market value.

    Of course, the bigger (future) issue might be high-speed cable availability in those areas of town, along with the ability of the residents to own a computer and TV which can handle streaming a movie.

  19. 30

    Michael spews:

    Red Box only has X amount of units they can throw around and service. It makes sense to put those units in areas where they’d get the most use.

    My guess would be that they put the boxes in stores with high movie sales. And I’m sure Safeway and so one were more than happy to collect rent rather than have to buy inventory and pay employees to staff a movie counter.

  20. 31

    Puddybud is Sad for Steve's Loss spews:

    In Safeway stores, the DVD rentals are in the same place where lottery tickets are sold and the special needs desk are.

  21. 33

    Michael spews:

    Three killed, in a shooting at the University of Alabama. One or three wounded depending on what article you’re reading.
    Three people were killed, at least three were wounded and a suspect was in custody Friday after a shooting on the campus of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, officials told the Associated Press and a local television station.

    “We have three confirmed people who are dead, one injured. The police have secured the building. The shooter is in custody,” UA-Huntsville spokesman Ray Gardner said

  22. 34

    m spews:

    The niche video market (re: scarecrow) will live on forever, assuming the major studios continue to ignore the thousands and thousands of movies never released on DVD. For example, my favorite director, Anthony Mann, directed around 45 movies, at last count 11 of which were available on netflix. Scarecrow has 30+, half of which are only available on VHS. So, for people really really into movies, brick and mortar independents will remain the only option. You know, sort of like how people really really into music have fancy audiophile stereos and buy 180g records, while the majority of the audience just downloads everything. Independent record stores are doing great, the big chain music stores are a thing of the past. Niche markets forever!

  23. 35


    Goldy, tell us about the local neighborhood school you send your kid to, or the local neighborhood bar you go to for Drinking Liberally.

  24. 37

    rhp6033 spews:

    # 33: Early reports say a man and a woman are in custody. Police have not identified the suspects of the victims, but say that the shooting occured during a faculty meeting, during which the suspect was informed that she was being denied tenure.

    Remind me to avoid going to faculty meetings, if I ever have occasion do so. It seems they can get quite rowdy.

  25. 38

    Daddy Love spews:

    19. Crusader spews:

    Netflix killed the video store. Ban Netflix.

    Yeah, because nothing enhances a neighborhood like Blockbuster.

  26. 39

    slingshot spews:

    Ok, maybe we’re lucky over here on the peninsula. We still have a few independents, one in particular stands out. You know the kind of places that used to be everywhere; the owner is a movie freak, the kids working there are movie freaks…all writing screen plays awaiting their big break. They have every esoteric film ever made. The foreign sections are to die for. You’re right though, these stores are probably hanging by a thread.

    Check the selection in the Red Box the next time you’re near one…….not much there.

  27. 40

    Puddybud is Sad for Steve's Loss spews:

    At least people have jobs at Blockbuster… butt that’s lost on Daddy Love working at the big software giant.

  28. 41

    GBS spews:

    What Redbox is missing out on is that African-Americans represent a huge segment of the movie going public.

    I had an opportunity to chat with Magic Johnson in November ’08 regarding his real estate business empire.

    One of the first projects he undertook was to put a movie theater in South Central LA.

    He laughed when I asked him if they served Red Velvet Cake in the lobby. In fact, he said, they do along with Kool-Aid. “Have to know what your customer base likes in order to be successful in business.”

    Can’t argue with Magic. The man does know how to make a buck or two.

  29. 43

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @23 “Silly Rabbit. Videos are air to air breathers, food to omnivores (and their dilemmas), Everclear to Rabbits. Videos are vital.”

    OMIGOD!! Humans can’t live without rental videos! This is the moment we rabbits have been waiting for! Sound assembly on the bugle! Initiate rabbit mobilization!!!

  30. 46

    righton spews:

    Redlining? yeah right…none in the Highlands, Magnolia, Medina or Madrona.

    Guess its not redlining when rich areas lack the machines….

  31. 48

    R on Beacon Hill spews:

    @7 & 8, yes, RR, I know they are video vending machines. My point is that we in Southeast Seattle DON’T know that because we never see them.

    Talk about redlining! The map tells it all. Can’t get more blatant than Redbox. Fucking bigots.