One word. Blockbuster. Kids, ask your parents. Parents, grab some tissues, those tears are gonna be falling.
I love Blockbuster. That’s right, love not loved. I’m using present tense and not past as there is still one Blockbuster store left in the wild.
There used to be more, a whole lot more in fact. Back in 2004, there were 9094 of the video rental stores worldwide. Thanks to the rise of video on demand services like Netflix, that number soon dwindled. The brand became defunct in 2013 with only a handful of franchise stores remaining open.
The second to last store was in Morley, Western Australia and unfortunately, that closed today. March 7th is now a sad day for Australia. The sole store left is now in Bend, Oregon and I strongly advise you all to go and visit and just buy something, anything, even some candy. We just can’t let the last store close.
At present, that store has no plans on closing and I hope it doesn’t. It’s become something of a tourist attraction now, people come from all around just to take a picture in front of the classic sign. I hope they’re spending money in there as well.
There was nothing better on a Friday night as a kid going into Blockbuster and looking through the videos and games, picking what to rent for the weekend. We had to work for our entertainment back then. There was no Netflix.
I’m glad that Blockbuster is at least still going, it’s bittersweet that there’s only one store left but the memory will live on. Just the other day I was in an ice cream parlor that used to be a Blockbuster, it’s had a complete makeover but they have kept the internal video return and logo signs on display. My local store has been shut for years and the building has been left empty, all the signs are still up. It’s a constant reminder of what we used to have. It also feels like some sort of apocalypse where all we have left over is empty Blockbusters and nature.
What are your memories of Blockbuster? Do you even know what I’m talking about or are you just reading the ramblings of a mad man? Let me know in the comments and in the words of Sweet ‘does anyone know the way? There’s got to be a way. To Blockbuster.’
Steve is the resident Englishman, just don’t hold that against him. He’s been playing games for the best part of 3 decades and will continue to do so for as long as his thumbs hold up. When they no longer work, he’ll still find a way to play Resident Evil 2. Lover of most things nerdy Steve also likes sports. Go sports!