Busted! I finally caught the guy who goes around putting new movies in the DVD rental machines you see located all over Western Colorado. How exactly does one go about landing a gig like this guy? Can you purchase your own machine?

Redbox machines have totally revolutionized the way we rent movies. Here in Grand Junction, you used to go to Airtime (out of business) or Hastings (out of business) or Hollywood Video (out of business) or even a handful of mom and pop stores to rent a movie. Back in the mid-1980s, every grocery store and gas station in the valley had VHS rentals.

Nowadays, you either stream movies, get them in the mail, or use a Redbox. How does this process work? Does the person who owns the Redbox machine pay McDonald's or City Market to let them put the unit outside their business? Then again, maybe it's the another way around. Maybe the stores pay Redbox to put the machines there in order to drive business to their locations.

There is the matter of how new movies get to the Redbox machines. Does Grand Junction have a secret network of underground tunnels with pipes shooting videos back and forth to the various Redbox locations? Are there midgets inside the machines? Is there a super-secret vacuum tube kind of like the thingy at the drive-up window at the bank that sucks the movies out of one machine and sends them to another?

Answer: There's a nice gentleman who apparently goes around to the machines with new movies, new movie posters, and a bottle of window cleaner, and updates the movie selections. I busted this guy last Tuesday at the McDonald's at 12th and North in Grand Junction.

How do you go about getting a Redbox kiosk for your business? Well, technically you don't. According to Redbox Franchise Cost, the way one goes about getting a kiosk is as follows:

If you own a retail location with lots of foot traffic and would like to try a Redbox DVD machine you will need to fill out an application online and they will analyze your spot to see if there is sufficient profit potential to place the unit there. The upper end of revenue a store owner can expect is $500 monthly for really high traffic locations after electricity and internet connection.

There you have it. Chances are you won't be able to retire on $500 a month, but it's a fairly nice chunk of change for doing nothing more than setting a big box outside your store. From time to time, you'll have someone come around and swap out a movie or two. Sorry to demystify the magic of the Redbox machine, but at least we now know what's going on in there.

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