A Eulogy for Blockbuster

blockbuster

Illustration by Marcie LaCerte

This year, our nation mourns the loss of a dear member of our community: Blockbuster. For nearly thirty years, you helped us “bring the entertainment home.”

In the days of yore, when DVD collections still existed (and when VHS was still relevant), if we didn’t have Happy Gilmore or Space Jam at home but wanted to watch them with our babysitter, you made that happen. I have nothing but the fondest of memories of you, wandering through sky-high shelves of your nearest store, arguing with my brothers over which movie to watch. The possibilities were endless. One moment, I would be perusing old Tom Hanks comedies that no one knew existed, and the next, I would be looking through every single movie ever made with talking animals. Sometimes, I would accidentally stumble through the horror movies aisle; the covers alone would give me nightmares. 

One moment, I would be perusing old Tom Hanks comedies that no one knew existed, and the next, I would be looking through every single movie ever made with talking animals.
Most of the time, I would walk into your store not knowing even the genre of movie I wanted to rent. But I was always sure of one thing: if it was going to be a Blockbuster night, it was going to be a good night. As I set my final choices down at the register, I would gaze upon all the weird Red Vines flavors and M&M varieties that my parents would never let me buy. Just thinking about them makes my tongue smile and my teeth cringe.

Sadly, like most dying relatives, your final years were less than glorious. We struggled to keep in touch. I rarely came in for visits, and when I did, I often left disappointed, longing for the days when you were younger and more spry, with better selections. Also like old relatives, you feared the Internet and the changes it would bring, and that was ultimately your demise. As some of your doors will remain open until January, like some sort of weird open casket ceremony, I hope to pay you one last visit and take back some token to remember you by–perhaps an early Will Ferrell film or maybe a literal piece of one of your shelves.

You may be leaving us, but much like Walkmans and Pogs, you will forever live on as a golden part of my childhood. Now go on and join Borders Books & Music in corporation heaven. May your aisles again be browsed and your shelves remain forever full. ♦

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