Happy Birthday Blockbuster – All One of You

What You See When Visiting www.blockbuster.com

On this date in 1985 a Dallasite named David Cook opened the first Blockbuster (click here) From that humble start, Blockbuster would become a $9 billon per year business. At its peak, they had over 9,000 franchises around the world with a new one opening every 17 hours.

I confess that I was and still am a little bit of a Blockbuster fan, but not because I enjoyed dealing with them. Whereas I liked popping into Gary Gelrud’s Stop Look and Listen video store in the Square, the whole Blockbuster-big-is-better scene just didn’t move me much.

However, I do have a soft spot for Blockbuster because my daughter Reagan worked for the Lexington Park franchise several years after school and on weekends when she was in high school and home from college. Reagan was such a good employee for Blockbuster that when she was a college senior, she informed me her Blockbuster bosses wanted to send her to their Blockbuster Manager Training facility in North Carolina. Being the kind and understanding Dad that I am I told her “Hell no.” The Buzzy in me followed up as I told her “I didn’t spend all this money sending you to college just for you to become a Blockbuster manager when you could have done that right out of high school.”

Thankfully, Reagan passed on taking the Blockbuster folks up on their offer to attend their Manager training. She now has a pretty secure job working for some outfit called the U.S. Navy who, unlike Blockbuster, may be around for awhile.

The rise of Netflix and other streaming services ultimately marked Blockbuster’s bankruptcy and eventual demise. Ironically enough, Netflix has a very good documentary (click here) about the rise and fall of Blockbuster. The doc focuses on the last Blockbuster in business located in Bend, Oregon, hence the title “The Last Blockbuster” (click here for Blockbuster Bend’s FB page.)

This song played during the documentary:

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