Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Rest In Peace, Blockbuster


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!



Sauceman said...

The closing of Blockbuster makes me die a little bit inside. I no longer have the option of going out with the lady on a random night for a random horror movie. Just the other night I was dying to watch House of 1000 corpses, and i was S.O.L. Very sad that todays youth will not get to experience that joy. RIP Blockbuster, you will be missed.

Sean said...

I'm still working at a closing store, and this ends 5 years of employment with the company. I can't believe it lasted as long as it did.

However, the company isn't dead, or at least not the brand, they'll continue to license it to NCR for the Express boxes, and run Blockbuster Online, and of course Blockbuster VOD (which is why Dish bought them) but early reports coming out are saying at least a few stores will stay open for now, possibly less than 1,000 of the 1,700 that are still open.

It is indeed a new day, but I'm sick of people whining in my store about it. We've done it, we've managed to tip the scales toward revolution in filmmaking, and people want to walk into my store and bitch they can't pay $5 for a rental.

Since I'm effectively fired, they can't do anything to me, but I love just telling people how much money they've wasted at Blockbuster over the years, and I cheer the Netflix customers that have been streaming for literally years now, paying less than $10 the whole way.

John said...

As the last of the ship sinks, don't forget to have a peek in the dumpsters from time to time. Sometimes I've found shards of shattered DVD/VHS and sometimes I've had to go find boxes to be able to carry all the movies I've pulled out. My biggest Blockbuster haul actually came from a dumpster that, the night before, had only had tapes that looked like they'd been crushed with a hammer.
Keep an eye on that thing. (:

Matthew said...


Right you are - I check them too :) I've had three BB's close within a 30 mile radius of my house, so naturally I hit all of their dumpsters. All had those placards that go behind the disc boxes, but one had 25 DVD/Xbox cases, and one animated movie.

Timing has to be right though. You have to hit them right as they are really closing. Not when they put up the "Store Closing" sign, because that just means there are 3-4 weeks left. Wait till the "Just 3 Days Left" sign pops up - or if you're really good, go the day after they actually close.

The most disappointing thing is to find an empty dumpster though. I managed to get to one a day or two after closing, and since there was a ton of stuff to go through on my lunch break, I decided to go back. The next day, the dumpster had been emptied.

The thing that I don't understand is the "STORE CLOSING: THIS LOCATION ONLY" signs that go up on the front door. Kind of ironic that it's quickly becoming every location.

The Frog Queen said...

I agree - very sad indeed. But like you - I cleaned out the horror section :) And no, I am not going to admit what I bought siree!!


Johnny said...

The pickings were unfortunately very slim for me, even before the deal hungry masses got to them. The horror section at my Blockbuster had been scaled back so much over the years that there wasn't much of a section to begin with. I remember when Hollywood Video went out of business there was 10x a horror section to pick through, which was awesome.

Jay Amabile said...

IN my neck of the woods Blockbuster was way too damn expensive for our taste. We always went to Palmer Video and the more indy joints. They always had great deals like if you rented two you could get one free or rent one get one free on certain days. I'm miss those days too but I'm a HUGE fan of redbox and netflix.

Classic George said...

It's a shame that people would rather get there movies streamed to there T.V sets then go to the video store. I love going to Blockbuster and spending 2 hours just picking out one movie it's fun and soon it's going to be gone

Nicole_Tee said...

I work for DISH Network and I was wondering why they would buy Blockbuster. Then I realized that from a movie/game lover’s point of view, DISH is offering quality product at a great price and is making this entertainment easily available to be enjoyed. So although many locations have closed, there are still a lot that will remain open to service the newest breed of Blockbuster. Nice!

Suzy said...

I'm about a year late to the party. But when blockbuster and hollywood video closed, a little part of me closed down too. My dad and I used to go to Hollywood video every week for a new stack of movies to watch. But like you, when Blockbuster closed I did leave with a pile of movies and yes, I also purchased the NOES remake because it was the last movie for my collection.