Blockbuster Is Officially Out of Business: 7 Things We'll Miss About the Video Store
Wait, are the '90s back or dying? I'm confused. Because, while we all lap up every single reunion story about Saved By the Bell or Full House , we also hear this news, which is absolutely devastating anyone who ever wore jellies un-ironically: Blockbuster will be closing its final 300 locations, meaning the video store franchise will officially rest in peace after struggling to keep up with new home viewing technology for years.
Most young folk, upon hearing that sentence, will ask "What's a Blockbuster?" while snap chatting their latest Candy Crush score from their new iPadTablet6S, or what have you. But there are some of us who spent our childhoods roaming the VHS store every single Friday and Saturday night. (What's a VHS? A VHS is a movie shaped like a small boom box, kids. What's a boom box? It's a... forget it, this is exhausting. Just drink your milk and listen to your Austin Mahone already.) So, for all of us one-time Blockbuster die-hards forced to switch to easy, accessible, and vast streaming services (Gah!), let's officially mourn the loss of our home away from home. These are the things we will miss in a world without Blockbuster.
A Special Treat At the Register
Sure, you might be treated to a new great feature thanks to Netflix Recommends, but has Netflix ever recommended you eat a tasty lollipop treat... and delivered? Perhaps the greatest perk of having at least one pushover parent. The worst perk? Diabetes.
Walking Past the Movie That You'll Never See
But you'll be able to recall its VHS cover art for the rest of your life. Thanks for constantly invading my nightmares, Hellraiser.
Speaking of Which, Cover Art
An art form that's no longer appreciated during these streaming times.
Discovering Hidden Gems
There are so many films I would never had seen had I not randomly passed them by while strolling through the Comedy, Drama, or Adventure aisles of my local Blockbuster. House Party, Houseguest, and apparently all other movies that begin with "House." (Strangely, not House.) So those likely aren't the best examples, but I did pick up Office Space with no prior knowledge of its story or quality in a Blockbuster. So, that's it. Great.
Getting Out of the House
Nothing to do? Good news for you: You can spend your Friday night passing several walls full of Meet Joe Black DVDs! Perhaps not the most exciting weekend activity, but, on the way to Blockbuster, we were all treated to stunning views of trees and grass and roads. Compared to our views now (phone in front of computer in front of TV), that was enough to make Blockbuster the Grand Canyon of our lives.
Okay, so the art of the rewind has been missing since the introduction of DVDs, but still — it allowed us to perform at least one random act of kindness per week. How can we pay it forward now?! Oh, charity? Okay.
Showing Up to Find the Movie You Want Missing — Then Discovering It In the Return Box
Is there a more satisfying bait-and-switch in life? Back in the '90s, we had to work for our entertainment, travel miles uphill in the snow, etc. etc. Patience was most certainly a virtue — and it paid off when we discovered someone had returned the very video we were searching the empty walls of Blockbuster for. We'll never have to make four trips a day to the video store to see if they have Titanic — and, for some reason, that's a sinking feeling.
Image: Josh Smith/Flickr; Sugar Pressure/Flickr; New World Pictures; New Line Cinema; 20th Century Fox; Chapped.tv/Flickr; Michael Pederson/Flickr; MG Siegler/Flickr MG Siegler