The once mighty and ubiquitous neon light of Blockbuster will soon go dark. The chain -- owned by Dish for the past couple of years -- will shut down all its remaining stores and discontinue its DVDs-by-mail service over the next few months.
Blockbuster was once a titan of home entertainment, coming to dominate the DVD rental world in the late 1990s and early 2000s before broadband and names like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu started to chip away at the convenience of a neighborhood store with the trademark blue awning.
The company went from being on top of the world to a dinosaur of the entertainment world so quickly my brain has a hard time placing it in the timeline of my life.
It was scarcely 15 years ago that my weekends were dominated by Blockbuster. Friday nights would kick off with a visit to the store, the agony of making those selections, and then waiting two more hours to actually watch the movie with friends only after they finished their shifts working at Blockbuster. Could such a treasured American ritual as this already have grown so completely extinct? Petrified, even?
Answer: Yes, of course. Nostalgia aside, the digital world is more awesome now than it was 10 minutes ago, and I can now fit all the movies I'd care to watch from a single Blockbuster store into a device I can carry around in my pocket. So, thanks for the good times Blockbuster, but next time try a little harder to keep up, maybe?
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