Blockbuster and the end of the DVD rental stores


Here in Houma, LA there is not a lot to do. Unless you plan on going to your favorite bar for some drinks, the choices for entertainment are low. And with the upcoming closure of Blockbuster Video, renting a game or movie just got harder.

In the beginning of 2013, the owners of Blockbuster, Dish Network, made the decision to close 300 of the rental chain locations. The Houma location on Martin Luther King Blvd has less than a week left until the doors are locked for good. And when it does, we will be left hoping that the newest movie we want to rent will be available at a few red machines or on an internet streaming company.

But this is just another cycle in the technological food chain that we have to accept. Before Blockbuster came to town, I remember going to many small rental stores such as Movie Gallery, Video Co-Op, Rainbow Video, and others. Hell, even a select few gas stations rented out movies. While smaller, these stores had a vibe to them that I can’t describe in words. Some even popped popcorn and made it feel like a movie theater with unlimited choices. And of course each had its own “back room” that, as a child, I could only try to imagine the selection in there.

But as times changed and the Blockbuster chain came to town, the smaller stores faded. I missed the stores I had come to love, but it was a retail evolution destined to happen no matter what. The days of renting VHS movies and Nintendo and PSOne games at the corner stores were done.

And here we are in 2013 and the days of going to a store to rent anything are over in this area. I have to think that in the near future the same fate will occur all over. The technological advances have killed this operation. Netflix, Gamefly, Redbox, and even Blockbuster itself have made renting movies and games easier and you don’t even have to leave your home.

I will miss being out on the road and stopping by the rent a movie. It is something I enjoyed every now and then. Something that’s been a part of my life. Go in, get a movie, candy, and drink and go home to enjoy. But just as music downloads killed stores ranging from Sound Shop to Virgin Megastores, video streaming has toppled the giant Blockbuster.

It is a food chain. Just like in nature. The evolution of how we consume. And this is still only the beginning. But for now, R.I.P. Blockbuster, I, for one, will miss you.