Archive for March, 2010

Farewell Zuma Video & Music

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Yet another venerable Malibu institution has closed its doors: Zuma Video and Music ended its 24 year run at the Point Dume plaza last week, the victim of a weak economy, bad location (relocated upstairs and out of foot-traffic range by the evil plaza landlords) and the inevitable march of technology. I guess we all saw it coming, but I’m still sad to see them go. Zuma Video was a big, well-stocked video and music store complete with all the stuff you’d expect: Posters, arcade games, funky carpeting and equally funky employees. I’ll miss the place a lot, despite having not rented from them very much in recent years. In fact, the main reason I patronized them was for the very complete range of guitar strings they offered, something I now have to drive 30 minutes to Thousand Oaks to get.

It seems that video rental stores, like film processing labs, have for the most part been pushed aside by the digital age. The convenience of on-demand cable rentals and the $1 Red Box rental kiosks has rendered them obsolete.

A digression: I often ponder whether there’s a net gain or loss associated with our “digital age.” For example, we don’t need to “go there” anymore. We can do it all from home. The way we discover new things like music and film is unrecognizable from how we did it just two decades ago. Sure, it’s more convenient, but is it better? Wasn’t going to the record store as a kid with your buddies more fun than watching an iTunes download? Isn’t sitting in a darkened movie theater more exciting than navigating the pay-per-view menu on your sleek new flat screen TV? The inconvenience of the trip was actually the fun part: “Going there” was its own reward. My own kids don’t know what they missed.

The Point Dume plaza is that much duller and emptier now. I for one will not be lining up out front when the new Subway opens its doors. But that’s another rant.