A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis: The Fall of Blockbuster!

Wow, it’s been five years since the once great video rental store giant went belly up. I’m talking about Blockbuster, one of the best video rental stores in North America (as well as across the world). Back when I was growing up in southeast Baltimore County (Baltimore, MD) my mother would take my brother and I there every Friday night. Any movie that I saw in theaters during the 90’s and early 2000’s I rented from Blockbuster the moment it became available to VHS, and eventually DVD. The same can be said about every game I bought for every system I had; NES, SNES, N64, GameCube, GBA, and Nintendo DS – which I still have by the way.

Blockbuster was a key part of my childhood growing up, and if you’re a 90’s kid like A. Goldman and I, then I’m pretty sure it was a part of your life too. I would go there religiously every Friday night to see what new video releases were available. I think the last time I’ve been in Blockbuster was about ten years ago, right around the time I graduated high school back in 2008 – which was 10 years ago (*laughs*). By the early 2010’s Dish Network brought out Blockbuster in order to try and keep up with digital age (as we all are) and remain relevant, but with rise of RedBox, Netflix, Hulu, and others, the once great video rental giant couldn’t keep up.

By 2013 they filed for bankruptcy and closed down the last 300 stores in the U.S. however thanks to Dish Network and their franchise agreements with Blockbuster, there are only a small handful stores that are left. I’ll admit; talking about my 90’s childhood does make me feel a little old, much like seniors talk about how they used to be and what they did during their youth. (Of course our timeline and theirs is totally different.) Blockbuster is and will forever be a part of my childhood, and will go down in history as everyone’s favorite video rental store!

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