Please rewind your video cassette before returning it to the store.
Back in the '90s, not many people understood how to work this new-fangled internet thing to obtain movies. Even with the required tech knowledge, a dial-up modem wouldn't get you very far. What we did have, however, were video rental stores on every corner. The largest of these, from the smallest independent to the retail giants, was Blockbuster video.
In 2016, most video stores have been closed, unable to compete with the slick competition of online streaming services, VOD, file sharing, reduced DVD prices and premiere movie channels. While Blockbuster video officially went defunct in 2008, there are a few still open in the United States, a nostalgic curio reminding us of a time when you had to walk into a shop that smelled like popcorn and teenagers to get your hands on a movie.
YouTuber Chris Stuckmann visited one of the remaining Blockbuster stores — in Rochester Plaza strip mall in New York state — and his joyful reaction to stepping back to the '90s is something we can all relate to. Yes, Chris, "video rental stores are still pretty cool."
Personally, one of my very fond Blockbuster memories comes courtesy of a movie I was not old (or gutsy) enough to watch. Before my current incarnation as a horror fanatic, I was a wussy little wimp who decided to rent FeardotCom.
Although the plot ran the course of an overwrought episode of Criminal Minds, the hemophilic horror left me gut-punch speechless and unable to sleep the whole night. I just watched the FeardotCom trailer again and had a real laugh at myself for being scared of such gloriously silly 2002 nonsense.
With my nostalgia dial set to 11 and in need of more blockbuster memories, I checked out this super sweet Reddit thread, "If you ever worked at a Blockbuster or video store." Here are a few anecdotes that I found really touching:
Bluevillain on codes:
On the night Titanic was released, we opened the store at midnight, and so many people showed up to buy it that it took until 3am to ring everybody up. There was a line outside the store and around of the block of 10-15 year old girls and one bleary-eyed parent hating life, on a Tuesday. Teenage girls really, really, really loved Titanic.
GaryColemansRevenge on job satisfaction:
Thanks to Blockbuster video, and shout out to Casa, Family Video, Silver Screen, Starland, Movie Gallery, Hollywood and all the other video rental stores, living or dead, that gave us so many happy memories.