Our youngest daughter said to my wife and as we were watching ‘The Last Blockbuster’. You can find it on Netflix and it tells the story of the downfall of Blockbuster Video and the remaining store in Bend, Oregon.
Our daughter will never know the disappointment of walking into a Blockbuster on a Friday night hoping to find ‘Forrest Gump’, only to discover that all 157 copies are gone. My wife and I turned to each other several times throughout and smiled, silently saying ‘man, these kids will never what it’s like’. Smiling, even though it’s kinda sad. Part of the fun was everyone picking our their own movie to watch before they had to be returned.
At one point, not far into the show I paused it to drop this truth bomb on our daughter. “There was a time you had to RENT a vcr to watch movies at home!” I think telling her aliens had just landed in the front yard would’ve been more believable. You would get it on a weekend with your stack of movies and you felt committed to watch everything you rented, because you were paying for it!
VCR rentals join the list of cassette tapes, rotary phones and dial up internet as things we’ve had to explain was our way of life ‘back in the day’. Hearing all these stories, I’m sure she’d prefer living on the moon to adapting to any of those things.
According to my wife (former Blockbuster employee) and backed up by the manager of the store in the movie:-movie-return-check-in-person was the worst gig you could have. Seems like the job never ended. An ever growing pile of tapes that had to be catalogued back into the system and, wait for it…..REWOUND. It’s a fun, 90 minute-ish trip back in time that’s worth checking out next time you say ‘man, I can’t find anything!’
Wait until I tell my daughter I used to rent video games too.