R.I.P., Blockbuster video stores? (Well, sort of.)

Blockbusterrip_lBlockbuster Video’s brick-and-mortar locations collectively died today at age 23 after a long battle with ondemanditis; the final blow came with the announcement that its parent company plans to launch Blockbuster OnDemand — a subscription service that will allow users to download DVD-quality films from the Internet direct to their TV sets. Services will be held simultaneously in the Foreign Films, Horror, and New Releases aisles, where movie lovers in search of elusive Tara Reid direct-to-DVD flicks will wail and gnash their teeth. Burial should take place over the next decade, as folks who have yet to upgrade from VCR to DVD (or those other ridiculously expensive and certain-to-be-obsolete-in-five-years technologies) discover the unique joys of on-demand video through their cable providers and via services such as Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Blockbuster OnDemand. Survivors include a host of local mom-and-pop video shops, John Travolta, and several hundred delicious popcorn-making machines.

addCredit(“Grave: Daniel Smith/zefa/Corbis”)

Comments (52 total) Add your comment
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  • jeff

    GOOD RIDDANCE! Employees of Blockbuster are universally awful.

  • jaime

    I cant even remember the last movie i rented from any movie rental store…?

  • aptel

    Until they get blu ray quality films im cool with going to blockbuster and renting the blu rays. Actually even after they get to that point i think ill still go to the store. part of the fun is spending forever picking arguing about what movies to get with other people while eating pop rocks

  • Em

    Hey, I used to work at Blockbuster, and while many of my co-workers WERE awful, there were a couple of qulaity people who really knew movies, and our manager was terrific. I’d have to say that the customers are the ones who are universally awful- especially the teenagers.

  • El

    I also worked at a Blockbuster in college. I can barely stand to go in them now. I tried to rent a movie recently and out of a list of 15 movies they had 0. Not even 12 Angry Men!! I gave up and went home to watch Netflix on demand.

  • chris

    This article’s a bit misleading…I was, at first, thinking that Blockbuster was closing all of its physical stores. As a Blockbuster.com customer who loves taking them in and exchanging them for in-store rentals, that would have been terrible (waiting 2 days for movies!). But this is just an added thing…one that, I think, will take forever to catch on. I think most people don’t like the thought of storing a movie on their hard drive. People like, for some reason, physically having it in their hand. It’s weird, but I think it’s true.

  • Joe C

    Well, well. Apparently Blockbuster stores are as dead as the music industry and newspapers. Hmmmmm, could entertainment magazines be next????

  • shan L

    I admit I don’t go to Blockbuster that often anymore. Yet, I have encountered some pretty good employees there.

  • Oliver C.

    Noooooo!!! This news comes as a huge disappointment to me. It is much more convenient to hop over to my neighborhood store then to wait two days in the mail for Netflix. I don’t always know what type of movies i want, and part of the fun of renting is scanning the shelves-just like going to the bookstore. Why does everything have to be run via internet?!? Plus, my cable provider’s on demand selection is HORRIBLE and very low-quality.

  • Bob B

    I rarely go to Blockbuster as I can rent recent movies a whole lot cheaper from area convenience stores – $2.00 – $2.50 cheaper. And I’ve found newer videos there than at Blockbuster too.

  • jen

    great, another thing from my childhood and teenage years that’s dead. it was always such a treat to go to blockbuster, scan for movies, take them home and have pizza and snacks. doing it over the internet just isn’t the same… and like the person below me said, can be less convenient and spur of the moment.

  • Netflix Customer since Day 1

    Yeah!!! What great news! I left Blockbuster for Netflix as soon as Netflix started. Getting a late charge when I didn’t return a movie late, then being told that the manager of Blockbuster “had her eye on me” when I was a model customer, was the last straw. I told the Blockbuster employee that Netflix would put them out of business, and I was right!! So happy to be dancing on their grave!!!!

  • cap

    Good riddance! I’d much rather stick with my Netflix. You do the math: for 8 movies it’s $9.00 a month from Netflix…or $38.00 (because they’re what, $4.75 each now?)from Blockbuster!! Hmm, I’d rather wait that extra day.

  • Kathryn

    I am an avid movie fan and I love Netflix because of their amazing selection of movies. It used to be frustrating to go to the video store to find good foreign language films, now I can conveniently get them through the awesomeness that is Netflix. And there are still great mom and pop chains that I can go to when I am in the mood to browse and converse with awesome movie enthusiasts that work there.

  • andy

    I don’t see this happening in the near decade. We all know that the video rental market is still strong. As long as the majority of people (aka Walmart-type shoppers) don’t have high speed internet, then high speed downloading will not be the leading method of video rental. It’s economics. If the average person goes to movie theaters or goes to the video store, then those venues/shops will still rule. Blockbuster has the money to test out various markets without giving up on another.

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