I’m betting most of you know about this one, Blockbuster Video and it’s competitors made it a simple and relatively inexpensive way to have a family event. You could go to a video store and get two movies a couple of bags of popcorn and some soda for under $20. They had old movies and new. Video games for all consoles and snacks to go with it all.
That’s not the missing part though, not really. We have Netflix now, Hulu, Amazon, and separate channels for each TV station plus hundreds of other streaming choices. The missing part, the fun part, was the people. The employees, the ones who knew every movie in the building. You could go in and ask them for a movie recommendation and they could and would help you, because it was fun. The sharing of mutual experiences in a group. Customers, employees, even the vendors that would deliver things… “Hey how was (movie title).
I can still play a good game of Seven Degree’s of Kevin Bacon. If you followed along with last years A to Z challenge, you read about a lot of movies that’s what’s missing from Netflix and the others. That sense of community, of shared experiences with a person, face to face. Blockbuster and other Video stores like, Hollywood Video, Movie Gallery, Hastings, Family Video and more helped bring people together.
There are still some left… If you look at the date for the tweet above… well you can see. It’s a franchise and there are more than one left. While the corporate mindset has poofed away making it more… well weirdly funny, you can follow them on Twitter at Loneblockbuster
It’s a shame the internet took these places from us. I know people say RedBox and Netflix did it, in part that’s true. The larger issue was Bandwidth though and the ability to just click a button to watch something. Blockbuster still has a few stores left. They still have a streaming service owned by Dish Network and they still have those of us that remember how much fun it was. It’s not the same though, the sense of it, the feel… Plus Chet, Carl and Ray, The Dancing Baby…
What was your favorite Video store, tell me a story.