Date the first video rental store opened :

December 1977
When the VCR came out, George Atkinson was renting Super 8 movies and projectors for parties from a store on Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles. Seeking to gauge interest in a new way to use the new technology, Atkinson took out an ad in The Los Angeles Times in 1977 offering "Video for Rent," and asking readers to mail in a coupon. When he received an overwhelming reponse, Atkinson renamed his store Video Station, and began renting videos in December 1977. He charged a $50 annual membership fee, which gave members the right to rent movies for $10 a day.
Source: Los Angeles Times, 3/12/2005

  Number of titles carried by Netflix in 2006:


Source: Boston Globe, 11/26/2006

  Total number of U.S. video rental stores in 2005:

According to Adams Media Research, that's down from 32,000 video stores in 2004.
Source: Boston Globe, 11/26/2006

  Number of independently-owned U.S. video rental stores in 2005:

According to Adams Media Research, this is down from about 22,000 in 1996.
Source: The New York Times, 11/19/2006