To no one’s surprise, Blockbuster announced this week that it’s closing its last 300 stores.
At its high point, Blockbuster had about 9,000 stores and you could hardly drive more than 15 minutes in any town without seeing one.
One of the remaining 300 stores was about a mile from my house. My family is a bunch of movie-holics. Even though we have Netflix, Hulu, Comcast, a DVR and iTunes, I’m still going to miss going to my local Blockbuster store.
Looking at shelves of movies always reminded me of ones that I wanted to see but didn’t, or ones that I liked and wanted to see again. The people that worked there were movie lovers, too. They offered opinions and personal recommendations when asked, or would simply chat about how much they liked the movie I was about to watch as I paid for my rental. It was nice.
Blockbuster had a good stockpile of classics, too: musicals. westerns, dramas. If you wanted to watch “Casablanca” you could usually find it at Blockbuster. Netflix? Not so much.
When my kids were little, it was a treat to go out on a Friday or Saturday night and pick out a movie. Now that my kids are older, we still liked to go to Blockbuster together, even though we rarely did it anymore (maybe a couple of times a year).
The store always smelled like popcorn, too.
Standing at a Redbox in the cold entrance of the grocery store, sometimes waiting in line to use it, just isn’t the same.
Neither is sitting on the couch and finding a movie online.
I feel the same about book stores. I love my Kindle and rarely buy physical books anymore, but that’s because I don’t want to own them and store them. And that means giving up the best part of the book-buying experience, browsing in the book store. It’s just a necessary sacrifice.
So things change. And mostly for the better.
I’m still going to miss it, but it looks like I could be the only on in America that will.
A hashtag on Twitter called #blockbustermemories has people mostly ranting about the company.