Much like Tasmanian tigers and passenger pigeons, video rental stores appeared to go extinct long ago. But after all this time, a lone Blockbuster has surfaced on Twitter, crying out into the void for companionship — or at least for people to quit using the return drop box as a trash can. Although the company filed for bankruptcy in 2010 and shut down its few remaining retail stores in 2014, a Twitter account claiming to be the last known Blockbuster has been tweeting up a storm for more than a year. Whether or not it's a satirical account (which it almost certainly is) happens to be irrelevant, because the tweets are just as entertaining as Blockbuster's content back in the day.
According to the account's bio, it is unaffiliated with Blockbuster corporate. Instead, the tweets are written from the point of view of employees at the store — and boy, are they lonely. Retail is mind-numbing enough in the first place, but each Last Blockbuster tweet is tinged with the desperation of, well, a video store trying to lure in customers during the era of Netflix.
Not that they can't compete with the Internet or anything. "The problem wasn’t the Internet, it was that we lost touch with our consumers," the Last Blockbuster creators told the Daily Dot last year. And so they turned to Twitter to interact with their dwindling fan base, as well as "contact people who owe us late fees." The results are nothing short of pure, satirical genius.
If we as a society allow vending machines to rent movies, what's next? Sushi? Rifles? Human blood?— The Last Blockbuster (@loneblockbuster) February 1, 2017
At first, the tweets were optimistic.
If high waisted jeans can come back in style so can we.— The Last Blockbuster (@loneblockbuster) August 1, 2016
Over time, though, the Last Blockbuster appears to have realized that things aren't going as well as one might hope.
Looks like lots of you guys must've given up renting movies for Lent.— The Last Blockbuster (@loneblockbuster) April 7, 2017
For decades people have said our business model will be our downfall and you know what? We have to commend them on their spot on analysis.— The Last Blockbuster (@loneblockbuster) June 7, 2017
The creators admitted to the Daily Dot that most people come to the store to "use our bathroom or hang out with Chad." While waiting for the rare customer to wander in, the employees entertain themselves by tweeting about life in the store.
When you steal our Benedict Cumberbatch window decal, you steal from everyone.— The Last Blockbuster (@loneblockbuster) January 24, 2017
That's it, if 10 people don't come in in the next half hour we're going to start spoiling your favorite movies. First up, Maid in Manhattan.— The Last Blockbuster (@loneblockbuster) November 22, 2016
They also offer recommendations for discerning readers.
It's Friday the 13th and you know what the perfect movie to rent on Friday the 13th is, Weekend at Bernie's.— The Last Blockbuster (@loneblockbuster) January 13, 2017
It's been years since Blockbuster shut its doors, but it is still widely ridiculed for turning down the chance to buy Netflix in 2000. 17 years later, the video rental company is the subject of satirical Twitter accounts, while Netflix is worth $70 billion (and creating critically-acclaimed shows). Business decisions undoubtedly played a role in Blockbuster's demise, but video streaming services definitely hammered a few nails into its coffin.
If all this nostalgia has put you in the mood to visit, finding the store is easy enough. According to the Last Blockbuster's Twitter bio, it can be found "between 3rd and Main in the Oak Lawn Shopping Center." So... a strip mall somewhere in the United States, probably.
On second thought, that requires too much effort. If you want to simply visit the Twitter account, you can find it here.