Rest In Peace: Blockbuster Video (1985-2013)


As a child, video stores were like heaven to me. Every shelf was filled with hours of adventures and entertainment waiting to be experienced, and with only a few dollars I could take any title home that very night (only to bring it back the next day). Netflix replaced that experience by allowing consumers to have the same sensation of being overwhelmed with selections from the comfort of their own home, and in doing so slowly began nailing the coffin shut on retail video stores. Now, after struggling to stay afloat in for a number of years, the once unstoppable rental chain known as Blockbuster has announced plans to close its remaining 300 stores by early January 2014.

“This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment,” said DISH President and CEO Joseph P. Clayton. “Despite our closing of the physical distribution elements of the business, we continue to see value in the Blockbuster brand, and we expect to leverage that brand as we continue to expand our digital offerings.”

The company, which is owned by DISH Network Corp., said franchised and licensed stores will remain open. DISH also will keep the licensing rights to the Blockbuster brand and its video library. DISH said it will focus on the Blockbuster streaming and on-demand services currently offered to customers.

This news probably does not come as a surprise to anyone, but as someone who spent many hours roaming the aisles of their local video store it serves as an undeniable reminder that nothing ever stays the same for long. Netflix may reign now, but given enough time a more convenient entertainment delivery service will rise. For now, comment below and let us know your thoughts on the death of Blockbuster.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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  • Brian Lion

    I just want movies to be streamed straight to my mind. Lay back, close my eyes, and watch them on the biggest screen imaginable.

  • Aaron Sarnecky

    There’s was definitely something exciting about going to the video store and not knowing what movies they’d have on VHS and DVD. I miss that, even though it could be frustrating sometimes.