Blockbuster’s chain of video rental stores is finally closing, moving the company entirely to on-demand services.
Over the weekend, Blockbuster shut their doors for the last time. The once giant chain of video rental stores closed its remaining 300 franchises, marking the end of an era. Fittingly, the last movie rented, at 11PM on Saturday, was This Is The End; poetic.
Blockbuster was hugely popular in the ’90s, but with the rise of internet streaming and piracy; both of which are infinitely more convenient and have a larger selection of content, the traditional rental store was pretty much doomed. They did their best to compensate, with one such attempt being a DVD-by-mail service, which is expected to shut down in mid-december. All in all, retail and distribution services will all be shut down by January. For many, it might be a surprise that the chain hadn’t shut its doors a long time ago.
Some were happy to hear the news, since Blockbuster also stated they’d waiver all late fees. Actors and comedian Paul Scheer said “Yes! All the Blockbuster Video Stores are closing! That means they’ll never get back that VHS tape of Vampire In Brooklyn. I won!”
Be kind, rewind!
Blockbuster isn’t completely gone however: Blockbuster’s on-demand service, while limited compared to competitors like Netflix, will remain open. “This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment. 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.” said Joseph Clayton, CEO of Blockbuster’s parent company Dish Network.