Rent a Movie, Get a Tan

tanning bed_225.jpgI doubt many tears are being shed for the slow demise of Blockbuster's overpriced rentals, late-fees, and huge selection of direct-to-video horror clunkers. But independent video stores are another story. Sure that snobby video clerk made fun of you for renting How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days, but that's part of their charm! Plus that clerk was right. In any case, it looks like cinephiles can rest easy because local video stores have a new, sure-fire survival strategy: tanning beds.

That's right, now you can pick up the latest Matthew McConaughey movie and come home with skin as bronze as his! Imagine your wife's surprise! Apparently, installing a tanning bed in a video store makes perfect financial sense because peak hours for tanning coincide with slow times for video rental. Also, the video stores can sell sunscreen. And this isn't just a few sly entrepreneurs in Nowhereville, USA; more than 3,500 independently-owned video-rental stores have installed these.

I would have loved to be at the industry meet-up for this one. Who was the wizard that came up with tanning beds? And can you imagine the ideas they must have cycled through before they arrived there? Get your family portrait taken at Video Magic! Honest Don's Video Rental and Day Care! Movie Mansion: Now with Live Freak Show!

Watch your back Netflix and iTunes, your business model doesn't account for this.

· Video Rental Stores' Bizarre Survival Strategy [The Hollywood Reporter]