Video shops could be frustrating and weird. But for me, they were a lifeline | Rebecca Nicholson
Thanks to Netflix and co, there’s only one Blockbusters branch left in the US. But are the VHS temples worth our nostalgia?
Until last week, there were three Blockbuster stores left in the United States; after its two Alaskan branches shut up shop, there is now just one, in Bend, Oregon. It’s an independently owned franchise, so escaped the mass shuttering of its siblings that occurred between 2012 and 2014. The general manager, Sandi Harding, told the New York Times that there were no plans to shut it down in the near future. “We still have that core group of customers that know we’re local, are very loyal and come in every week. Everyone’s tired of sitting at home on their phones and their laptops and not having any personal interactions.”
As a freelance writer, I am familiar with sitting at home on my phone and my laptop not having any personal interactions, but one of the positives of that state is having thousands of films at my fingertips to help pass the down time. (If you have never watched A Bad Moms Christmas at 10am on a Tuesday, then congratulations on your proper job.) The notion of having to travel to a physical shop to rent a DVD or VHS is a distant memory for many, and a completely unfamiliar concept for some. This is an age of convenience and entertainment is on tap. Unless it’s essential that it should be seen on the big screen – as I learned from watching Avatar on a plane – we no longer need to leave the house to bring a film into it.