It was recently announced that the remaining 300 Blockbuster locations scattered across this beautiful country of ours will be closing by early January. And because there are about a trillion articles written about this by now, I want to simply touch upon what Blockbuster meant to me growing up.
Now, I always associated Blockbuster Video with my dad because he absolutely loved to rent the scariest and goriest of movies every week. Me? Well, I always went straight to action, comedy and the occasional Mary-Kate and Ashley flick (don’t judge me). This soon-to-be extinct store was the highlight of my week. For adventure awaited me in that chunky, little 7 x 4 rectangle.
My local Blockbuster store, in particular, had a little Playskool house with yellow plastic chairs inside. Sometimes, after picking my movie, I’d sit in the little house waiting for my dad to finish browsing. I always managed to make new friends in that little house. Or maybe I made them up? Whatever. I sure as hell was a good host.
VIDEO GAMES. After receiving my NES, all I ever wanted to do was rent video games. Sometimes I’d get in trouble because I’d hide them from my parents hoping they’d forget and I wouldn’t have to return them. BUAHAHAHAHAH!
My mission failed. I was a silly, drunken child. And an asshole.
I remember Blockbuster being the first pit stop to every sleepover. It was always a blast running in there with a bunch of girlfriends and trying to decide on the BEST Jonathan Taylor Thomas film. JUST KIDDING. We were more of a Pee-Wee’s Great Adventure sort of gang. Plus we all know JTT’s only shining moment happened as an animated lion cub.
Well, now, here’s where things get depressing. When it came to my high school years, I spent so much time studying (yawn) and dedicating myself to the drama team, that I didn’t make time for Blockbuster nights like I used to. But I do remember being old enough to get my own Blockbuster card. And, man, did that feel FUCKIN’ AWESOME! So, on occasion, I’d treat myself to a film and some Sno-Caps. I mean it was a rare occurrence. Almost like how Netflix is for me today. I get all giddy when I actually have time to plop my bum down on the bed and watch some dang Doctor Who re-runs!
All in all, I can still recall exactly where everything was. Even the smell! I remember being 6-year-old, stubby me looking up at the purchase counter wondering if I’d ever reach the top without being on tippy toes. Year by year I’d get just a little bit taller. Just enough to place my elbows on the counter. And, by age 20. I reached that goal.
Let the short jokes commence!
But seriously, I’m sure gonna miss that fuckin’ place. I mean, it was a PLACE where you could physically VISIT and RENT videos and video games! Actual person to person transactions here! I can imagine my future grown children reminiscing about Netflix:
“Oh, those were the days! I still remember how my finger felt as it clicked the PLAY button. Continually. Until I forgot what day it was. And I became anemic. Well, that’s what us kids did back in the day. Binge-watched the shit outta everything! Hahahaha!”
Well, my nostalgic rant is over. Now off I go to get my Doctor Who on.
RIP Blockbuster Video. You will be missed.