posted a BLOG item over 2 years ago
Well, it's finally happened. The Blockbuster Video located not even 5 minutes from my home is closing down at the end of this month.
Now while I know that this was bound to happen any day now, what with several other neighboring stores selling off their stock and shutting their doors, I was hoping against hope that my store would remain the exception to the trend. But alas, the uprising of streaming entertainment, decreased sales of DVDs due to piracy and theft, and online movie subscriptions ... there just isn't much need for the physical store to remain operational.
Now with so many ways of attaining movies in this day and age you might ask yourself why I'm so unnerved by this action. For me, it's a couple of things. For one, I really like the people who work at my local Blockbuster. The majority of their tastes in film and what they recommend that I watch has always remained severely questionable, but at the end of the day they were super nice and accommodating. Every time I would walk through the door (sometimes 3 times in one week) I would be greeted by name and asked what my thoughts were on my latest rentals or purchases. My opinion was valued and even turned the tide for some employees that were on the fence about certain titles, and upon giving them a second watch after my lengthy discussions, ended up really enjoying the movies after all. I would call them each Tuesday and have them hold specific movies for me which they would gladly put aside for my picking them up later in the day. I will miss these individuals and feel for them that their jobs are being terminated. When I asked if some of them would transfer most of them just replied that it simply isn't worth it to attach themselves to another location just waiting for the axe.
Another aspect of the brick and mortar location that I will miss, possibly the most, is the turn around rate upon which I was able to rent movies. Paying only $20 to Blockbuster online (Allowing for unlimited in store rentals - 3 at a time by exchanging my mailers) provided me with the luxury of renting sometimes up to 9 titles a week. Meaning that I could see all the latest releases and even some of their back catalog without having to worry too much about missing anything. I will miss this ridiculous amount input for my movie hungry brain.
Another great aspect of the physical store remaining open was the sale of their stock with sometimes having deals of 5 for $20! Seriously, what a deal! The movies would almost always be in immaculate condition upon opening them at the check out, and the speed upon which new releases were to hit the shelves would sometimes make my head spin. Holding out of taking a trip to Best Buy for two weeks was worth it when I can pick up the title for a fraction of the price along with a few other titles for the price of one.
Now I'm just as guilty as the next person who wasn't walking into Blockbuster each day to put money in their cash register. No, I would abuse my online service to the fullest: Mail - Watch - Return - Repeat - as much as humanly possible. So does this make me part of the problem? I suppose partly that it would, but it helps me sleep knowing that I still pay my online subscription fee which allows me to rent these films. So I am still paying, it's not like I am downloading each movie from the internet or something like that. That's true piracy. Each time you rent a film, the log-in number of your rental goes towards that particular films numbers and popularity. We're still doing our part regardless of how sideways the situation might appear.
So yes, upon hearing the news from my friends that the store is indeed closing, I rushed home and got myself a Netfilx account and linked it to both my Xbox 360 and PS3 systems and started streaming right into my home. It's a great service, and I even opted for the unlimited 3 mailers program so I can still have my physical disc media from time to time. But it's no replacement for the people, the conversations (Even though I have all of you to share my movie experiences with :) - And I'm sure that I will adjust in no time. The whole thing just makes me wonder what is happening to film as a rented format and how we're having the experience of opening and unwrapping a finished product taken away from us. As soon as we are done streaming it, *poof* it's just gone. Not to mention that we don't get access to the entire catalog of Netflix, not to mention having to wait 28 days for the newer films. Groan.
So goodbye, Blockbuster Video. I knew you well and I will miss you very very much.
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