The second-to-last Blockbuster Video is closing, leaving a store located in Oregon as the last Blockbuster on Earth. The most recent store locking its doors for good resides in Morley, Australia. The news of the store in Australia closing solidifies the end of an era for video stores, and perhaps, how the consumer market views films altogether.
Blockbuster Video opened its first store in 1985, with shelves full of VHS and Betamax tapes available for rental. By the early 2000s, Blockbuster was in its prime. Consumers were able to browse a Blockbuster store to select the newest video game or DVD for rental, perhaps grab a box of candy from the impulse section at the register, and even discuss selections with employees. However, due to several factors, the mighty giant of rental service fell flat, and the company filed for bankruptcy in 2010. One main reason for the demise of the franchise was the introduction of streaming services. Streaming services, such as Netflix, offer a lower cost for greater variety and do not tack on late fees - a constant consumer complaint with Blockbuster.
After years of hanging on by a thread, the second-to-last store announced their time has come to an end. According to Eastern Reporter, the Blockbuster in Australia is owned by Lyn and John Borszeky, and the store will be closing at the end of this month. The couple knew the closing of their Blockbuster was inevitable, however, the news has struck a sad chord in the community. In an interview, Mrs. Borszeky said:
“We get customers all the time pleading for us not to close as they still enjoy the experience and service we provide. It is really gratifying to see the excitement when the kids are looking through and see their favorite character. It is sad to see where our industry has gone for a number of reasons.”
As the Blockbuster in Australia bids farewell, the last location in the world appears to be thriving. Located in Bend, Oregon, this Blockbuster has owed its success to offering classic older titles one might not be able to find on a streaming service. Another reason the store is successful is that it's the last one. Crowds flock to the Oregon location on a daily basis to take photos of the store and get a dose of nostalgia. At this time, the last Blockbuster has no plans of closing.
The closing of Blockbuster is a reminder that technology has become necessary to view entertainment. The store made a movie and video game rental a human experience with store browsing, and interaction with those in attendance on what blue case to take home. Now, rentals are available from Redbox, by the push of a button on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. Streaming services have provided a convenience for viewing entertainment, however, prices are starting to increase for certain memberships. There's no telling how long it will be before the next big thing overrides streaming services as streaming services did to video stores. At this point in time, the life of the last Blockbuster video store on Earth appears to be safe.
Source: Eastern Reporter