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Dust to Dust: Blockbuster to Shut Down All Physical Movie Services Next Year

Olden Lore

Listen closely children, as I tell you of the days when if you wanted to watch a movie that you did not own, you had to get in a car, move to another location, argue over what movies you wanted to watch for the entire week based on a small physical selection, handle physical media and interact with a stranger, and then move back to your house to watch the movie. And then when you were done, you had take the spool of plastic which contained the visual and audio data for the movie and wind it back to its original position, and then bring it back to where you got it within a time limit, or pay steep fines.

Truly, those days are no more, and Blockbuster must now pass into the East, and fade from this Age of Men.

The company announced today that it will be shutting down everything that it does that involves physical media.

Blockbuster L.L.C., will end its retail and by mail DVD distribution operations by early-January 2014. The company will close its approximately 300 remaining U.S.-based retail stores, as well as its distribution centers… The Blockbuster By Mail service will end mid-December and will serve existing customers until that time.

I know what you’re thinking: Blockbuster still has retail stores? Didn’t they shut down already? Well, sort of. They did declare bankruptcy in 2010, closed a bunch of stores, and were bought by the Dish Network, who sort of hemmed and hawed as they tried to convert the video store chain that killed the independent video store into one that offered digital fare instead. By divesting themselves of Blockbuster’s remaining vestigial retail, they stand a better chance of doing so. Blockbuster will continue to offer Blockbuster @Home and On Demand services to Dish customers who don’t already instinctively use Netflix for everything anyway.

So how are we feeling about the end of Blockbuster? Certainly it’s inevitable, probably should have happened three years ago, but I think there’s also room for a lot of nostalgia. I’ll still have a use for a VHS player until they release the 1995 Power Rangers movie on… oh you mean they have?


(via /Film.)

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Susana Polo thought she'd get her Creative Writing degree from Oberlin, work a crap job, and fake it until she made it into comics. Instead she stumbled into a great job: founding and running this very website (she's Editor at Large now, very fancy). She's spoken at events like Geek Girl Con, New York Comic Con, and Comic Book City Con, wants to get a Batwoman tattoo and write a graphic novel, and one of her canine teeth is in backwards.