What the last Blockbuster has that Netflix doesn’t

Did you know the last Blockbuster in America is in Bend, Oregon? In 2004, the company went from over 9,000 locations worldwide to exactly one in America. But in this streaming age, is there anything we can learn from Blockbuster? We traveled to Oregon to find out.

Host: Bijan Stephen
Producer/Director: Phil Esposito
Producer/Audio: Andrew Marino
Video: Becca Farsace
Motion Graphics: Keegan Larwin
Supervising Director: Tom Connors
Design Director: William Joel
Director of Audience Development: Ruben Salvadori
Social Media Manager: Dilpreet Kainth

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74 Comments

The Verge

What do you miss about going to local video stores?

    jjtninja

    Everything.

    H Boy

    The fact that they had more than videos (such as candies and stuff) you can’t get candies from netflix

    Oscar Muro

    A lot i even dreamed i was inside

    Cosmo Dookie

    NOTHING.

    Bruno Luparelli

    Going with my girlfriend on Fridays to chose a couple of movies and getting everything you needed there popcorn, candy and some sodas.

Jon Sudano

Damn, even the GM’s son Ryan has a 90s haircut. This video is a goddamn time machine.

    Aaron Shattuck

    Don’t forget the nose piercings. Classic Ryan.

    Dakuwa

    It looks like a simple styling, I guess it is outlandish when everyone including grandparents and pets have a rainbow of haircolors and shaved head designs.

    Doesn’t strike me as “90’s”, it strikes me as “simple” or “casual”

    Sam Mondello

    As he was walking in I was instantly reminded of that smell . Haha too good

    Black Mouth Cur

    “The dream of the 90’s is alive in Portland”

    Aiden Saroka

    I was searching for this comment!

Danielle Alexanian

Going to blockbuster was always such a fun experience. On special nights my family would get in the car and scan the shelves together, but now we just scroll through Netflix.

    TheWutangclan1995

    One thing I notice is that people got really excited and passionate about movies, shows, and games back when Blockbuster was around. Now people don’t sound as excited to suggest you a movie or show on Netflix or Hulu.

    Matt C.

    Anyways so many great movies Netflix doesn’t have. Actually all my favorite movies Netflix doesn’t have

    Scarygamer 2005

    I was born in 2005 and don’t be surprised but I want to experience what you 2000’s kids experienced. Please god

    Lord Vader

    john Cast damn. You just hit me with the nostalgia.

    Kevin Amburgey

    Big TeXas you forgot KB Toys…..best store ever as a kid.

Taby Tay

I just genuinely liked going to the local movie store with my parents and looking around and getting candy. Just the act of going was always fun.

    Lawful Christian

    Exactly, now you just scroll through which takes from the whole experience.

    vincent thomas

    Me too omg

    miguel meyers

    yup

    Simone

    I feel like in a couple of years well be saying the same thing about shopping malls

    Beebo Trash

    Ikr!

Madison J.

This Blockbuster should be considered as a historic location so it can never be torn down lol

    Nutty

    I hope it gets torn down and paved over

    elliot walsh

    someone start a petition

    Jairus Lovell

    That’s a fact!!!

    YaBoiDustin

    @Dakota McCullough turns out that you heard wrong

    juluke

    @FitnessSupremeMemes Probably this one its a mall and its going alright

Jesse K

Getting my own Blockbuster card was a right of passage.

    forti tude

    I still got mine

    Just a Ghost

    Same, good times.

Lord High Unggoy

I miss blockbuster.
It feels so boring to go to a redbox, compared to running around blockbuster and looking at all the movies or finally renting that movie I’ve been waiting to

    Stoof

    Same I remember when the blockbuster by my house went out of business had the building there forever before they tore it down

Ronin

I would rather have a local Blockbuster than Netflix. There isn’t much I watch or like on Netflix. I miss that interaction, getting snacks, grabbing
movies I wasn’t expecting and even walking out with a game.

    Five Hundred IQ

    You virtue signaling?

    f0xZie

    Yea, i live near it and whats nice is you got carls jr across the street, gas station in the same parking lot and papa murphys next door AND albertsons across the traffic light

    BRYAN STARS

    No, I know why people become so downgraded ever year

    Kent Peterson money talks

    @Christopher Har V when netflix first came out the had pretty much almost any movie you could think of.

c0l1n_M4

This guys is absolutely right. Blockbuster and other video rental stores like Hollywood video did have a specific smell.

    New3DSLUIGI364

    I Wish I Could’ve experienced Hollywood Video when It was STILL Hollywood Video where I Live!!!

    At Least I Have my Memories of Blockbuster!!

    Nostalgic Melancholy

    The aroma of popcorn butter…

    JC

    It was like a fresh clean just vaccumed the floor smell with a touch of pine (very faint) but if u smell it , you will know it … it doesn’t leave you .

    SovietStream Sam

    Yes

    Kenya Holloway-Reliford

    That’s probably what I remember most about them

DestroyingNoobler

Blockbuster refused to partner with Netflix which was a big mistake

    Slight Of Mind

    Nah, they didn’t want to sell out, which is understandable and commendable. Netflix would’ve devoured Blockbuster, just like you see with things such as Disney devouring and ruining everything else. Blockbuster wouldn’t have lasted and wouldn’t have had the same effect or nostalgia it has today if it continued. Not only that, but it would be more modernized, there’s countless examples of old would-be “nostalgic” companies that are around still to this day that you don’t pay any attention to, or have grown to be terrible over time. Truth is, if those companies went away, you’d probably have the same feeling of nostalgia, only now that it’s gone.

    Nicholas Biddle

    @Slight Of Mind blockbuster could have evolved and still remained one of the largest movie services, now they’re dead. You can’t tell they’re better off that way?

    Ghost of Orion

    and look where netflix is now

Ryne McKinney

They should never close that Blockbuster. It should be a museum

    Viyron

    @Justice Fonfara I guess

    IamCree

    That’s exactly what I thought!

    jyh1Q94

    or UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Jaswanth

    Then it should get funded man,or else they will face huge loss

    Wally Walrus

    It shouldn’t be a museum.
    It should be a national treasure.

Danny Garcia

I can’t be the only one that wishes blockbuster would get revived

    Danny Garcia

    RolexKidd not now tho with all this going on I’m pretty sure video stores are going out of business in the near future

    Jim Boonie

    Can’t happen dude sorry

    Lazarus Blackwell

    YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE

    THERE ARE STILL SOME SANE PEOPLE OUT THERE

    Kenya Holloway-Reliford

    People do, they just won’t admit it

    Ramwick

    I feel the same way

Knightmessenger

Ok this looks bigger and more dedicated staff than what the average blockbuster had back in the day.
Basically it’s an independent video store with a corporate logo.

    Suupur Sanicc

    That’s now also independent.

    Crazy Jim Films

    Yeah, as someone who remembers the last few years of Blockbuster, during the DVD era, as a major chain, this is definitely different. The ones around here really only carried new releases and liquidated a lot of popular and more obscure movies. The selection was pretty lacking.

    Jared Moskowitz

    Yeah, that’s how franchising works

Diane Banks

I have mixed feelings…My sister and brother-in-law used to own a video store and Blockbuster put them out of business. But years later, I did like how large and bright the stores were, how you could always find the movie you wanted because there were so many copies, the variety of snacks they had and just feeling that overall good mood vibe you felt as you picked out a movie that would become part of a fun evening ahead. We need stores like that in communities now that all the bookstores like Borders are gone as well.

Razer

Man I remember when I was little, staying at my grandmas house and she would come in the living room and say “ we’re going to blockbuster.” I was always so excited to go. Pick out the movies/ video games and getting the candy there, while spending time with her. That is one thing Netflix or Hulu or any other streaming service cant replace. The excitement of going to blockbuster with friends or family and making those memories. My grandma has passed about 3 years now but those are the times I cherish.

Twisted_Jinx

I remember there being a Blockbuster in my town, and my family always went here. I would just run around and play up and down the aisles for hours till we left. Those were innocent times.

Mongoose

I liked the physical interaction. Holding the case, reading the back. Talking about it. Walking the aisle. The smell! Getting the movie and actually finishing it, not stopping midway and choosing something else in just a moments notice. I miss it even more now that socializing has been changed forever. I would buy a blockbuster franchise just to be there, and interact with people. Funny how things just.. change.

Jamyang Pelsang – Film Fight Fanatic

You could say they refuse to “bend” to the will of the streaming industry.

    Krazy Hatter

    😅😅😅😅😅😂😂😂😂😭😭😭

Jewell Austin

I hope this Blockbuster never closes. I don’t think I’ve gone into a Blockbuster before, but having that human interaction and having someone who has the knowledge about moives is something that should never go away either, no matter how big streaming movies/TV services become.

Alan Castaneda

I remember desperately wanting Blockbuster to be my first job as a teenager, kept thinking about the employee discount on rentals. Never got the job, forgot about it, didn’t realize Blockbuster closed till a few years after the fact. Now, whenever I see certain films, with cover art I distinctly remember seeing on Blockbuster shelves, I get nostalgic.

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