MovieBob's Re-Tales: Blockbusted

MovieBob

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MovieBob's Re-Tales: Blockbusted

Blockbuster was my first paying job. It?s an experience I recall with mixed emotions.

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Mr. Q

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Apr 30, 2013
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It's a shame that one more video store chain has gone under, but I'm not too broken up by it. Hopefully, Blockbuster Video will be remembered as a cautionary tale of bad business practices blowing up in their face and not being able to adapt to the rise of new technology.

Also, I come from the generation that remembers pan-and-scan VHS tapes. When my family and I switched over to DVD, I had to explain to my folks the pros of letterbox and than the black bars on the top and bottom were normal. It took some getting use to but they've gotten use to it.
 

Ne1butme

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I remember when the Blockbuster opened in my Kansas home town. I thought it was a big deal. Before it, we only could rent movies from the grocery store or some small mom/pop place. At the time, i knew that blockbuster would drive the small place out of business and i thought that was a good thing. After all, i was 11 and their selection was crap. Blockbuster would have all the latest big movies and many many copies. I realize now that while i was correct that the it would be crushed out of business, i no longer think it was a good thing. I hadn't started looking for more interesting films until years later and by then, blockbuster had a straggle hold on the town's rental business.

While the small store wasn't ideal for tween looking for the biggest release, it might have been great for a more mature teenager looking for older and varied titles.

But i realized that too late.

My other big memory of blockbuster was when they had a demo unit of the virtual boy. I recall playing it there a couple times (mario tennis) and kinda wanting it. The double d-pad controller seemed cool.
 

SquidVicious

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Feb 9, 2021
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I'm not too broken up by this, when I lived in Canada, Rogers Video was always closer than Blockbuster so I ended up going there, and when I moved to the US I preferred Hollywood Video because of their 5-day rental policy. I actually ended up working for Hollywood Video during the summer of 2006 despite not really needing the money and I did have some fun experiences. I ended up getting fired though because I forgot to flip over these webcomics I had at the cash register. Still a little sad that location is now a Famous Dave's Rib Shack.
 

MCerberus

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Jun 26, 2013
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Family Video's still alive, I can still rent before I buy games.
I'm more sad that grocery store rentals died more than Blockbuster.
 

antidonkey

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Dec 10, 2009
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We had three local large rental shops around where I live when I was growing up. One of which had multiple locations and was the preferred spot for many folks. When BB showed up, one closed it's doors within a year. The local chain hung on for a while but eventually it wound up dead. Slowly shuttering location after location until the primary one was all that was left. The only one to survive was the store that didn't have rentals as it's primary business. They're more into books and music but they just also happen to rent movies. It's sorta funny to still see them going strong even after the big bad BB has now died.

Other than killing the local stores I never really had a problem with my local Blockbuster other than what they charged to actually purchase a movie. I tended to stick to a tiny shop because I knew the owner. Plus he tended to hook me up with stuff after I suggested he get more anime. That wound up being a huge boon for him as he was the only one in town with a good selection. He, too, eventually had to close up shop but had a good run. I think he actually still runs a rental place in one of the nearby small towns that has crappy internet access.
 

Berling's Beard

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Mar 2, 2010
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Bob, was great to meet you at the Expo this year and thanks for signing my book. I also had my first successful attempt at short-term employment in HS with the local BB circa 1998, though I was in California. Man, I can't agree with you more. Definitely not sorry to see this company go and here's assuming this brand continues to devalue & disappear.

Still, I do have fond childhood memories of this commercial's jingle from 1990: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClX9xlwvawA&list=PLParSC-b4W95lfBTMVcsqm-xPAehhVtzr&index=40
 

Imperioratorex Caprae

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MovieBob said:
MovieBob's Re-Tales: Blockbusted

Blockbuster was my first paying job. It?s an experience I recall with mixed emotions.

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Bob, its kinda scary you and I had the same job in high school, even scarier that it was the first paying job... I do remember the hell of trying to explain widescreen to people who had no clue what an aspect ratio was nor the presence of mind to figure out a movie theater screen is shaped differently than a TV screen.... I wonder how many of those people failed to tell the difference between a square and a rectangle.
I ended up setting up two display tv's running the same movie in widescreen and pan & scan and people still failed to tell the difference... Ah those were the days.
 

Lvl 64 Klutz

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Apr 8, 2008
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It's both sad and appropriate that Blockbuster's main legacy is going to be in the form of college case studies of why it's important for business models to be adaptable.

Also it's pretty telling that Radio Shack, another retailer not doing so well, has a similar policy to Blockbuster's DVD policy. Apparently they can be the only store at a location that sells iPhones (Ha!)
 

Vault Citizen

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May 8, 2008
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I'm not really sad to see Blockbusters go because while I have a membership I haven't rented anything from Blockbusters in years. I was sad to see a chain called Apollo go, it was the local rental place in my town and it used to be a big chain, not as big as Blockbusters but it had a good presence in the UK. By the time I started working there in 2010 it was down to only four shops and they all proceeded to close within the year. I was 20, turning 21 then and I had been going to Apollo for DVDs since I was 10-12.
 

MorganL4

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May 1, 2008
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I miss Hollywood Video. I used to like being able to walk down to Game Crazy and buy a game. Now I have to drive miles to get to the nearest video game store. That said it was always funny to me that I would walk into a Hollywood Video, and the majority of the building barren of life that was dedicated to movies, and there was this small gated off corner of the store where there were actual people, browsing ordering and buying products. It is probably a major reason why I switched to PC. Because with Steam I can just order and download what I want when I want. (I tried buying games off of the 360's download service 3 separate times, every time I had to call Microsoft for a refund because the thing wouldn't download properly.)
 

Ftaghn To You Too

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Nov 25, 2009
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I still have fond memories of walking around the local Blockbuster with my dad, renting some movies and the occasional video game. I still have some games in a Blockbuster case from buying them at that store. It may have been an awful company, ethically, but I still miss it.
 

hentropy

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Feb 25, 2012
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At one point my city of 10,000 had three separate video rental stores in it, and oddly not one of them was Blockbuster, although you could go 15 or so minutes away to get to one of them. It'll be a part of my childhood as it will be with many others, but it seems like the idea of renting games in those old systems would be so incredibly oppressive now, and looking back it was way too expensive and you didn't get much for it.
 

Brian Tams

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Sep 3, 2012
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My local blockbuster was consistently mixing up their widescreen and fullscreen formatted VHS tapes, so I wasn't too sad to see it go under (it actually hung for a ridiculously long time. It just shuttered 2 months ago.)
 

cathou

Souris la vie est un fromage
Apr 6, 2009
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i was assistant manager for blockbuster just two years before they closed in Canada. like Bob, and mostly anybody that had work in a video club, i could fill a book with stories (like the one time where a guy was looking around for 10 minutes, in the store, i asked him if i could help him, and he told me : no it's ok, i'm just looking for a movie for my daugther, and a few minute later he talked to a male employe, and leave. i asked the employe what the guy asked him, he said : he asked me where the porn section was (if you remember, blockbuster didnt had a porn section)), especially that in Québec we had the language difficulty, because some of the less popular movies didnt have the french version.

with the language, when videoclub stores had vhs, they had to have 4 version of the movie :widescreen English, widescreen french, fullscreen English, fullscreen french... god bless dvd for that...

Anyway blockbuster never became a leader in the industry here. in our provincial anomaly, videotron is the big evil company that control : press, book editing, cable distribution (and movies and on demand streaming within their cable distribution), general and specialized tv channel, internet, cell phone and phone service provider, and videoclub stores.
 

Darth_Payn

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I have been going to Blockbusters for years before my family upgraded to digital cable for movies. Most of the video games I own, I first rented from Blockbuster. Yeah, who here still remembers renting video games? Yes, those were good times, when I was a lad. This will be one more thing we'll have to explain to our future children.
 

JaredXE

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Apr 1, 2009
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Bob, your memories are my memories. I worked at Blockbuster from 1999 to 2000, just out of High School, and dear god was it a shit job. To this day I have Blockbuster TV audio loops stuck in my head. I remember that the drama section is where the softcore porn was kept and that nobody wanted to fucking straighten the kid's movie shelves because the little shits would wreck them again in an hour. And yes, the Phantom Menace launch. We at least had a number of people who pre-ordered it at my store, myself included. The special box set with the film clip.....yeah, that was special.
 

cathou

Souris la vie est un fromage
Apr 6, 2009
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Darth_Payn said:
Yeah, who here still remembers renting video games? Yes, those were good times, when I was a lad. This will be one more thing we'll have to explain to our future children.
seriously, i've seen a couple of comment like this before, but in the usa you dont have any way to rent a game anymore ? i mean, i rented zombiu last week...
 

Johnson McGee

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Nov 16, 2009
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"Some of you are too you to remember this"? I admit I may be quite me but I don't think being me prevents me from forming memories Bob!

OT: I'm somewhat remiss about Blockbuster going under. My parents and grandparents live in an area that still has craptacular internet so streaming isn't an option, but now there are no video stores to fill the gap either (mostly due to the aforementioned monopolization). The only options are watch in theater or buy a DVD.
 

Hunter Creed

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Jun 27, 2012
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I'm not all too surprised or saddened. Rogers was always closer, plus my father worked for Rogers so we got a discount. That and those divs at Blockbuster always buggered our name up. We tried signing up three times. All three times they messed up our surname. Creed. Come on. Five stinking letters. And they managed buggered it up each and every time.

Hunter C. Creed