Blockbuster, once a suburban mainstay, has announced plans to close its remaning 300 stores (whittled down from a once mighty 4000). With Redbox infiltrating local pharmacies and offering DVD rentals for the price of a mediocre cup of coffee, and Netflix giving us the ability to stream films without putting on pants, modern movie lovers have shunned the once beloved ritual of browsing the sprawling rental store. There will be no more DVDs encased in blue plastic and giant tubs of popcorn, or getting in the car at 11:52p.m. to shove an almost-late video in the store's return slot.
Despite its inconveniences, Blockbuster provided something Netflix will never muster—a memorable experience. It was a local movie store (albeit a chain) where the clerk knew your name and could sometimes waive your late fees and even reccomend a movie you might like. Blockbuster is an artifact, no doubt, but it's also a reminder of a simpler time. And, it our lack of appreciation for those tiny courtesies that have led to the chain's disbandment. It's our fault, because we've deemed human interaction unneccesary.
Because we can't save the quaint late fees and rental deals that come with a pack of Sour Patch Kids and Raisinets, we will offer a sacrafice to the strip mall gods. Please, take these lame stores instead and leave our local Blockbuster. We'll probably never go in, but we'd at least like to drive by and feel nostalgic. Give us that.