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On Blockbuster’s Demise, An Obituary For Video Stores

I remember my first video store in Notting Hill—its walls were lined with hundreds of beautiful, uniform boxes. Each VHS was its own vacation from reality and I wanted to take them all. I was in there wandering the shelves, pulling down movies by their plastic bindings, piling boxes on the counter, week after week. And when the VHS died, DVDs filled the walls—slim and shiny. And then we got lazy—or maybe more efficient—and Netflix came and Red Box rentals popped up outside convenience stores. And we no longer needed Hollywood Video or Movie Gallery or Mr. Video III. So the dinosaur rental shops started boarding up their windows. And today, big boy Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy. I find it kind of sad that our children won’t know what “be kind, rewind” means. We don’t even need DVDs anymore—we can watch movies online and download them to our iPods! We have so much power. Too much power. There’s no responsibility in borrowing a movie anymore—gone are the days of late fees. Movies that come in boxes, you had your time—but like the noble abacus before you, technology has made you irrelevant. So long video rental stores, you were our friend, our dealer of dreams, and you will be sorely missed.

Would anyone else like to say a few words?

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