It is with great sadness that I tell you that the Blockbuster in my area officially shutdown a couple weeks back, the same Blockbuster that I spent many a day of my childhood in, perusing the seemingly neverending wall of gloriously decorated horror VHS boxes (and the same one I later worked at ... briefly). As the years wore on my love affair with Blockbuster ended, with me eventually becoming an advocate speaker against the company that charged over five dollars for a movie rental (I even staged a boycott of sorts last year), I cannot say that I won't miss the place for all the joy it provided me as a youngster ... and for, in the past couple years, giving me somewhere to go on my lunch breaks from work (I work in the same complex as the now desolate building).
But it's not just that i'm gonna miss killing time in there or that a little piece of my childhood has faded with the times. It's more about what this means as a whole. The inevitable has happened; internet killed the video store. With Hollywood Video going under and all of the Blockbuster's in the country slowly and surely following suit, the days of going into a store to rent a movie are sadly behind us. Sure we now have much easier and cheaper options at our disposal, but I can't help but shed a tear inside for the generation of movie fans that will never know the joys of heading out to the video store on a Friday night, on the hunt for the next great gem. Sorry Netflix and Redbox, though I love you guys, you will never be able to compete with that.
Of course, the closing of Blockbuster brought a silver lining along with it, in the form of seriously discounted former rentals over the course of the last several weeks. Above you'll see the pile I managed to score, all for about 40 bucks. And no, before you criticize me I will point it out myself; your eyes do not deceive you, that is infact the Elm Street remake in that pile. I still strongly dislike the movie but i'm a Krueger completist and I figured it would be good to have lying around for blogging reference (pulling pictures to make fun of it and such). So bugger off, will ya? I have my reasons!
Blockbuster, I hope someday someone creates a time machine and we can meet up back in the early 90's. For now, you will be missed. The memories you've given me will forever remain in my heart. Though they only consisted of me looking at a wall of tapes, they are truly some of the finest and clearest memories from my childhood. All I need to do is close my eyes or take a look at the sun faded beat up VHS copy of Dream Warriors I keep on my desk, and it's like i'm 7 years old again.
To end this on a positive note, i've uploaded the awesome opening from the 1990 flick There's Nothing Out There! below, which features a peek inside a classic mom and pop video store. I truly hope all of you reading this got to experience this kinda place first hand!
VIVA LA VIDEO STORE!