Updated on December 10, 2021
As my jab at their old ad slogan indicates, Blockbuster Video’s finally heading for the big “new rental” wall in the sky.
Blockbuster in recent years failed to keep up well enough with developing trends (despite its DVD-by-mail business being liked by some), and ultimately was outdone by the rise of Netflix, iTunes video sales/rentals, and Redbox kiosks. The Blockbusters in my neighborhood (two when I first moved here in 2004) both closed for good a few years ago; I bought a few DVDs such as “Finding Nemo” for cheap at the fire sale. Same for a local video rental place that was also here. Of course, by the time the stores closed, I’d long since moved to Netflix (and getting some DVDs from the public library).
Things I won’t miss about Blockbuster, or video rental stores in general: high new movie rental fees; worrying about a popular movie being unavailable; a limited selection of certain genres, or being unavailable completely (LGBT films, etc.); rude and/or uneducated sales staff.
The above said, I imagine there’ll still be room for small Mom and Pop video stores specializing in some films one can’t find easily on Netflix—foreign language films, arthouse or specialty fare, a less computer-savvy (or computer-owning) clientele, etc. As I noted above, there’s also the public library, which carries DVDs (and increasingly Blu-Ray discs), offering a free alternative to Redbox or Netflix.
Either way, Mr. Burns will have to find another use for his gift certificate for Blockbuster. Maybe Burns can get Smithers to tutor him on that “Net…flicks” thing…or the Internet/computers/etc.