Spotting a Blockbuster Video store is about as rare as spotting a doppelganger.
There hasn’t been one in the USF area for years, and slowly but surely, the days of browsing the aisles of a movie store will become nothing but a distant memory.
The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that Dish
Network would be shutting down the remainder of its Blockbuster stores and mail distribution of DVDs by early-January.
It has become clear that watching movies and TV shows through websites such as Netflix and Hulu has officially taken over.
Netflix recently announced it’s reached 40 million viewers since its origination in 1997, though it wasn’t until 2007 that Netflix really took off, when it started streaming through the Internet.
The first Blockbuster opened in 1985 and has made renting movies a wonderful family pastime ever since, or at least until Internet steaming became a thing. The rise of the Internet has taken away from that pastime because people’s lives have become too busy to spend time browsing a video store with family or friends.
It’s fair to say that buying and renting digital versions of movies through the Internet can be much cheaper and more convenient, but the selection process really narrows the options and takes away the thrill.
Sitting at home and thinking, “let’s rent a movie,” used to require a trip to a store like Blockbuster.
This process involved just as much quality time with family or friends as watching the movie itself. It gave people a reason to leave the house for their entertainment and offered an additional set of experiences to the movie-watching experience.
Browsing a movie store involved walking down every aisle of your favorite genres, looking at every option available, compromising on a selection and learning about each other’s preferences and tastes. Now people can simple go to the “Top 10 for You” recommendations and never look at another option.
People are so caught up with their busy lives, the idea of leaving the house or remembering to take the movie back has become a hassle not worth dealing with.
Browsing the movie stores will always hold a special place in the hearts of those who spent much of their time doing it. It’s not surprising that the Blockbusters are closing down, but it’s a real disappointment that people have let their lives get so far ahead of them that the simple task of renting a movie from the movie store is now too much of a hassle.
Ali Leist is a junior majoring in mass communications.