BEST PLACE TO RENT MOVIES THAT ISN’T ONLINE

Video Renaissance, Sarasota

Despite every so-called expert in the home entertainment industry spending much of the past few years predicting the imminent demise of the little mom ’n’ pop video store, Sarasota’s Video Renaissance is still very much alive and kicking. The shop is looking so robust, in fact, you almost expect it to step up and announce, in its best Mark Twain drawl, that those reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated. The shelves of this narrow little shoebox of a store are more tightly packed than ever with tapes and DVDs of the latest and greatest films on the planet, but it’s relatively easy finding what you want because everything is organized according to genre, director, country of origin or any number of other convenient categories. Still can’t find that special DVD you’re searching for? Never fear. The staff here will be more than happy to point you in the right direction — and even happier to steer you toward something you’ve never heard, but that you’ll soon be taking home to discover you’ve found your new favorite movie. Conveniently located just a hop, skip and jump from downtown Sarasota, Video Renaissance is a cine-temple devoted to the strange and the beautiful, chock full of rare and wondrous items, and worth making a special trip just to check it out. 2243 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota, 941-925-2780. - Lance Goldenberg

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