It was big news when Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy back in September of 2010. Since then, almost all of its locations have been shuttered — but what have all those former Blockbusters become since their closure? This question recently became the subject of one of the most bizarrely fascinating AskReddit threads I’ve ever read; the answers are as varied as you probably think they are, with some of them being quite surprising indeed.
I was living in New York City when the big bankruptcy filing happened, so I has already grown accustomed to the lack of Blockbusters and other video stores (Netflix had long since cornered the market for city folks’ movie rentals). There were still a few in New Jersey where my boyfriend lived, though; periodically we’d drive by one and stop when we realized they were selling off their inventory for cheap. Alas, what most of them turned into afterwards turned out to be pretty mundane: Subways, Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin-Robbins combinations, and other pseudo-fast food joints.
According to thatguyuno’s AskReddit thread, though, a number of former Blockbusters have become some pretty interesting things. Here are some of my favorites; check out the whole thread for more.
1. A Dollar Store
A lot of them seem to have become dollar stores, actually; this was but one in a sea of virtually identical answers.
2. A Pop-Up Halloween “Superstore”
And by “superstore,” we mean a wall of sad-looking, pre-packaged, over-priced costumes and a few pans of face paint.
3. An Identically-Named Liquor Store
The kicker is when the older building stands vacant, and yet developers keep tearing down trees and constructing new buildings no one needs around it. As another Redditor put it:
Way to protect the environment.
5. A Local Headache
I wonder if it had anything to do with “Internet people?”
6. The Same Thing, But Different
I’m all for supporting locally owned businesses, but something tells me this one is doomed to fail.
7. A Dojo
That’s actually pretty awesome. Score one for your town, FlyGuy302.
8. A Place to Get Your Car Fixed
At least it’s useful, right?
9. A Dentist
10. An Urgent Care Clinic
11. A Place That May or May Not Be Teeming with Bed Bugs
Uh… I’ll pass, thanks. Although I hear they’ve been working on a secret weapon aimed at eradicating bed bugs once and for all, so hoorah for that!
12. A Different Chain
13. A Different Chain That’s Better Than Pizza Hut
You win, sportscrazed2. You. Win.
14. …A Blockbuster?
Apparently they still exist in some places. Who knew?