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Is the traditional video store dead? According to Stephane de Laforcade, co-founder of MoviebankUSA, it soon will be. And the beginning of the end was last month at the grand opening of MoviebankUSA's first video lending machine store in New York's SoHo neighborhood. “Traditional video stores as you know them are gone in Europe, Australia and South Africa,” said de Laforcade at the unveiling. “We feel this is the future of the video store in the U.S.”

Measuring only 500 square feet, MoviebankUSA's store allows customers to walk in any time and rent from an automated vending machine. The store has eight touch-tone screen consoles, where customers can select movies from a database. Not sure which movie to rent? You can watch trailers on the screen. After making a selection, a vending machine dispenses the DVD or VHS. The SoHo location will have two vending machines that each hold 2,500 movies.

Expansion plans call for 1,000 locations in three years. The company also plans to place 3,000 kiosks in retail stores.

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