How, then, does a classic movie fan like myself keep up a fairly robust viewing schedule? It's really not that difficult these days, considering the increasing number of streaming services and other sources for a wide assortment of films. Here are my top sources for classic movies, with some thoughts about cost, value, and other considerations you might take into account it you are also thinking of leaving cable behind.
Warner Archive a little high in general, but when they run a good sale I invest in the movies I can't watch any other way.
2) Rent it - I still have a one-disc subscription to Netflix, and I rent movies that aren't available on streaming anywhere but also aren't necessarily ones I need to own. That includes a lot of action pictures from the 1960s and 1970s, as well as recent releases and classics that might be too expensive to buy on DVD. Netflix has actively dissuaded customers from renting physical discs with pricing changes and other methods, but if you want real control over what you watch it is still worth the extra charge. If you only want to rent classic movies, you might also try a rental service like Classicflix, which specializes in older films.
3) Stream it - Netflix is currently the dominant streaming service, and it has its appeal, even though classics are not its primary offering. There are often some very good older movies available on Netflix Instant, but be prepared to wade through a lot of public domain filler, as well. Amazon Instant offers many of the same titles and some unique ones; it's worth the Prime membership if you shop the site much at all, and it also allows viewers to rent streaming films for $2-$5 each, which is nice when you need to watch a particular movie right away.
Hulu excels at offering Criterion Collection titles, but other than that it seems more useful for TV series, and if I were to drop one of the 3 services it would be Hulu because I rarely find myself in the mood for a three hour subtitled tragedy at 10 PM on a weeknight. If and when Warner Archive gets its own instant service running, I might well drop Hulu in favor of it. The Warner service should go live sometime this spring, after a promising beta run in February.
You can also watch classic movies on your computer at sites like the Internet Archive, but my computer chair is not that comfortable, so I use PC streaming mainly for shorts.
Overall, I have access to more movies than I can watch, and I enjoy a lot of control over what I see and when, which I appreciate. As streaming movies become even more popular and more people choose to give up cable, it's important to think about which options are going to give you the entertainment you want, whether that be classic movies or *shudder* Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.
What are your go-to methods for feeding your classic movie habit? Let me know in the comments section below!