Blockbuster Closes Its Doors

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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Blockbuster Closes Its Doors


The once mighty video rental franchise Blockbuster will soon be nothing but a memory.

I suppose it was inevitable and a long time coming but for those of us of a certain age, there's still a vague sadness to the news that Blockbuster is closing what's left of its doors. After years of struggling to stay afloat, parent company Dish announced today that the roughly 300 remaining retail Blockbuster outlets in the U.S., as well as the company's distribution centers, will be closed by early January 2014. The Blockbuster By Mail rental service will also be ended in mid-December.

"This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment," Dish president and CEO Joseph P. Clayton said in a statement. "Despite our closing of the physical distribution elements of the business, we continue to see value in the Blockbuster brand, and we expect to leverage that brand as we continue to expand our digital offerings."

Blockbuster filed for Chapter 11 [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/103739-Blockbuster-Fizzles-Into-Bankruptcy] bankruptcy protection in 2010 and was acquired by Dish in 2011, but the era of Netflix meant its days were numbered. Within a year of the takeover, Dish began closing stores, but was unable to stop the bleeding. The plan now is to focus on the Blockbuster @Home service on the Dish Network and the Blockbuster On Demand streaming service.

Source: Dish [http://dish.client.shareholder.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=804970]


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Tahaneira

Social Justice Rogue
Feb 1, 2011
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I feel that this [http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2011/5/30/] is appropriate for the topic.

I have good memories of Blockbuster and its ilk. It was a tradition in my family to go down there every Friday and pick out some movies to watch over the weekend. But with Netflix and its kin in the market, physical rental stores have become worse than obsolete. I'm kind of sad, but the conclusion was inevitable.
 

IamLEAM1983

Neloth's got swag.
Aug 22, 2011
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What saddens me is less the end of Blockbuster proper, seeing as they'd only recently made a break into the Canadian market; than the end of Mom-and-Pop video stores. There's nothing quite like heading to the darkest recesses of the place where I used to rent SNES cartridges as a kid and coming out with six or seven Z-grade horror movies nobody's ever rented in decades.

Genre-dedicated stores are still a thing, as La Boîte Noire still operates in Montreal, but I'll honestly miss the feeling of coming home with a stash of VHS tapes or DVDs. I remember my father used to focus on Federico Fellini and Woody Allen while I'd rent the goriest or raciest splatterfests for myself. I'd sit through Dad's flicks while putting myself on autopilot, and then spend the night with my headphones on, watching people get eviscerated à la Sam Raimi's Evil Dead 2 Period.

Oh, well. If only Netflix Canada were worth a damn, I'd be able to get more than Asylum mockbusters...
 

Vie

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Nov 18, 2009
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Tenmar said:
Quickly everyone! Go to your local blockbuster if it still exists and call and see if they are having a going out of business sale! Buy all the games for as little as possible :p
Here it looks like they sold all their stock to a firesale store somebody set up in what used to be a GAME store.
 

The Rogue Wolf

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I have fond memories of walking up and down the aisles of the local video stores (both Blockbuster and an independent store) looking for a good game to rent. But this was just a matter of time... progress marches on, and video stores are joining the ranks of the buggy whip and the automobile starter crank as bygone signs of outmoded technology.

I can't wait until I hear a ten-year-old laugh at how we interacted with the Internet on standalone computers instead of brain implants.
 

JamesBr

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Nov 4, 2010
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IamLEAM1983 said:
What saddens me is less the end of Blockbuster proper, seeing as they'd only recently made a break into the Canadian market; than the end of Mom-and-Pop video stores. There's nothing quite like heading to the darkest recesses of the place where I used to rent SNES cartridges as a kid and coming out with six or seven Z-grade horror movies nobody's ever rented in decades.

Genre-dedicated stores are still a thing, as La Boîte Noire still operates in Montreal, but I'll honestly miss the feeling of coming home with a stash of VHS tapes or DVDs. I remember my father used to focus on Federico Fellini and Woody Allen while I'd rent the goriest or raciest splatterfests for myself. I'd sit through Dad's flicks while putting myself on autopilot, and then spend the night with my headphones on, watching people get eviscerated à la Sam Raimi's Evil Dead 2 Period.

Oh, well. If only Netflix Canada were worth a damn, I'd be able to get more than Asylum mockbusters...
Um, I don't know about you, but I've seen Blockbusters in Canada since the 90's, there's nothing "recent" about them. Also, just because you live in Canada doesn't mean you HAVE to use Canadian Netflix. Altering one's DNS is entirely legal, even if Netflix doesn't like it.
 

Evil Smurf

Admin of Catoholics Anonymous
Nov 11, 2011
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There is a blockbuster in the main street of Lilydale. (A nearby town) I've never been there but I think it's doing okay.
 

Ghonzor

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Jul 29, 2009
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And yet Hollywood* Video seems to be doing alright in my city. Weird.
Can't say it'll be missed by me personally, I was never much a fan. I'm honestly surprised that Blockbuster lasted this long.

Edit: I am hugely mistaken, and it's Family Video, not Hollywood. Shows how much I pay attention when I'm out and about.
 

Remus

Reprogrammed Spambot
Nov 24, 2012
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IamLEAM1983 said:
What saddens me is less the end of Blockbuster proper, seeing as they'd only recently made a break into the Canadian market; than the end of Mom-and-Pop video stores. There's nothing quite like heading to the darkest recesses of the place where I used to rent SNES cartridges as a kid and coming out with six or seven Z-grade horror movies nobody's ever rented in decades.

Genre-dedicated stores are still a thing, as La Boîte Noire still operates in Montreal, but I'll honestly miss the feeling of coming home with a stash of VHS tapes or DVDs. I remember my father used to focus on Federico Fellini and Woody Allen while I'd rent the goriest or raciest splatterfests for myself. I'd sit through Dad's flicks while putting myself on autopilot, and then spend the night with my headphones on, watching people get eviscerated à la Sam Raimi's Evil Dead 2 Period.

Oh, well. If only Netflix Canada were worth a damn, I'd be able to get more than Asylum mockbusters...
If not for this I would never have seen The Serpent and The Rainbow, a cult classic if ever there were one.
 

Psychobabble

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Aug 3, 2013
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Sadly this is the result of the march of technological progress. I expect to see many video game brick and mortar companies go the same way in a few years.
 

MysticSlayer

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Apr 14, 2013
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I thought Blockbuster had completely collapsed a few years ago, but then I moved down to Miami and it once again became a tradition for the family to rent a movie at least once a week. Also brought back quite a few memories of searching for games and movies at different Blockbuster stores. No matter how expected this may be, it is definitely sad to hear that Blockbuster is finally closing the last of their stores.
 

Sabrestar

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Apr 13, 2010
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I'm actually surprised they lasted this long. When I was growing up, the nearby Blockbuster had a better game selection than my local independent store, but their rentals were more expensive. I remember when their memberships were per-store only, which meant that for a while we had a membership card to a random store in Florida that was near a family member that we once went on vacation to visit. Good memories.

I hope the remaining employees land on their feet somewhere. Good luck to them.
 

AdagioBoognish

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Nov 5, 2013
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Just because they're going out of business doesn't mean I'll stop trying to find the guy who always deletes everyone's save games on the SNES cartridges. There are three save spots for a reason and if I swear I will destroy whoever saved over my Mario RPG progress back in 97. I WILL FIND YOU!
 

Arawn

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Dec 18, 2003
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I still see video stores for those reluctant to join in on the digital distribution. I mean people still buy games in stores so it's not completely a dying market. The PC game market is almost all digital at this point.
 

nomaner

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May 9, 2012
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Ghonzor said:
And yet Hollywood Video seems to be doing alright in my city. Weird.
Really weird since Hollywood Video was shut down in 2010 after being bought by Movie Gallery and filed Chapter 7 a few months later.
 

ZZoMBiE13

Ate My Neighbors
Oct 10, 2007
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The husk of a former Blockbuster Video location is right across the street from my pharmacy. It still saddens me a bit to see it sit there. Unloved and unmourned.

I had good memories of going there, the thrill of a new release you were dying to see and BAM, there is actually a copy in stock? And I got it before the sweaty guy who was two feet behind me coming in the door? EVEN BETTER!

I don't, however, miss the late fees, the ridiculous midnight return time (should clearly have been before start of business the following day), and they're horrendous policies of all kinds. Not to mention the Impulse purchase grabs at the counter.

Still, I digress. I had a lot of good times in the 90s in one or another Blockbuster location. And while I literally have not been inside one in over a decade, I still feel a tinge of sadness each time I pass the old place on the way to pick up my prescriptions. Oh they've tried to open other things there. But nothing takes. It was one of those SMILE dental plazas for a brief while. And last I checked they were trying to turn one of the spaces of it's strip mall into a Schlotzsky's deli. But it'll always be a former Blockbuster to me.

Also, Randy Marsh. :p
 

Shoggoth2588

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Aug 31, 2009
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Ghonzor said:
And yet Hollywood Video seems to be doing alright in my city. Weird.
Can't say it'll be missed by me personally, I was never much a fan. I'm honestly surprised that Blockbuster lasted this long.
I thought Hollywood Video died years ago! It did in Maryland anyway...

I miss my Blockbuster...by far my favorite retail job. It wasn't going to last forever though...I think I need to have a little cry.
 

-Dragmire-

King over my mind
Mar 29, 2011
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I miss Blockbuster, they had the least sense of value to the games they were selling. Sigh, I can't believe I missed the cartridges of Breath of Fire 1 and 2 for $14 each!
 

DugMachine

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Apr 5, 2010
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Makes me sad. I remember always going to the local Blockbuster and Hollywood Video in my town. Hollywood video was the first to go when Netflix got big. We still have the blockbuster but hardly anybody goes. Been like that for years and I doubt it'll be around for much longer.