Friday, November 8, 2013

Non-Gaming: So Long Blockbuster

A non gaming post this morning (plus I still have a bad migraine that I can't shake).

Blockbuster has announced it is closing the last of it's 300 stores and it's mail-in Netflix-like service.



While I am sad at the passing of an era and I feel bad bad about those loosing their jobs, I do not mourn the passing of Blockbuster.

Once Blockbuster could be found in every strip mall in suburbia and a store in every town.  That was it's appeal to so many.  Not to me.  I disliked that Blockbuster came in and more or less destroyed the Mom and Pop video stores that had sprung up in the 80s.  I remember renting many old horror movies on Laser Disk (yeah I had one of those) and VHS.  When Blockbuster came to town with their far cheaper rental prices I wasn't a fan.  I had rented Hellraiser once to show a girlfriend at the time and noticed how much of it was cut out.  Yeah they had either edited it themselves (not likely, but that is what I thought at the time) or only stocked edited versions.  No thanks.

While I marked the passing of Borders with sadness of something I had lost, I have not been in a Blockbuster in I don't know how long.  Between Netflix, OnDemand and Amazon Prime streaming services I have unprecedented access to viewing options.

So goodnight Blockbuster. Be kind, please rewind.

8 comments:

Tony Laplume said...

To think I was upset when I wasn't hired by them at the start of the year. Presumably they knew even at that point that this was coming down the pike.

Jeremy [Retro] said...

It's the bigger fish eats little and now the terminator fish eats everything left. Of course technology is the cause and effect of the downfall of Blockbuster. Same thing with Best Buy killing all of the little independents only to raise their prices after the effect. Now they are too in trouble, post office... is next. I am way off topic I think... dinosaurs do die!

faoladh said...

I seem to recall that Blockbuster did, in fact, edit some of the movies that they carried. It was one of the reasons that I never had anything to do with them (my last chain video store membership was with Hollywood Video). (Additional: I looked around to refresh my memory, and sort-of yes - Blockbuster would not carry any NC-17 rated films, and required the studios to provide them with edited versions that made an R rating. This includes, of course, such excellent fare as Requiem for a Dream. This was, indeed, the reason that I refused to do business with that chain.)

Anyway, the really bad news about video stores to come out this month is that Scarecrow Video in Seattle, the video store with what may be the largest collection of obscure films, may have to go out of business (though they might possibly restructure as a non-profit).

The Happy Whisk said...

Our Blockbusters here have been gone for a long while now. So went their blue boxes. But for me, I don't miss them at all. Too pricey.

Alec Semicognito said...

It wasn't just NC-17 tapes they refused to carry but unrated ones (which were common in video stores). I heard it reported at the time that the edited versions were actually created for Blockbuster, simply because it had such massive market share then and represented so much money for the studios.

Anthony Simeone said...

Blockbusters here in South Jersey went the way of the dodo bird a few years back. The mom-and-pop places disappeared entirely a bit before that. Sorta strange, in that "crap I'm getting old and look what doesn't exist anymore" kinda way. Also strange to contemplate is that, before it closed, I took my kids to Blockbuster when they were very young (when they were toddlers). I think they'll have vague memories when they grow up of a physical place where you rented DVDs...

Meanwhile, as of right now, their dad still insists on having VCRs in the house, so he can occasionally watch old episodes of shows in crappy quality ;-)

Greg Gorgonmilk said...

Editing HELLRAISER is absurd and icky. Blockbuster had it coming.

JDJarvis said...

We'll mention video rental stores to the grand-kids and they'll look at us like we did when our grandparents told us about tinkers, the milkman, and the trash-man coming more then once a week.

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