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.
At first, the tweets were optimistic.
Over time, though, the Last Blockbuster appears to have realized that things aren't going as well as one might hope.
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.
They also offer recommendations for discerning readers.
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.