Before the days of Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services, there was a time when we video rental stores were mainstream. If you wanted to stay home and watch a movie with your family or friends you had to go to a video store and rent the video that you wanted to watch. The biggest titan in video rental stores was Blockbuster.
Having first opened in 1983, Blockbuster was a monster of a franchise that was able to compete and adapt to the times until the early 2000's when Netflix and Redbox began to appear. Blockbuster not only had movies that you can rent, but also video games, which Nintendo hated to the point of filing many lawsuits against Blockbuster and Blockbuster always coming out on top. The store filed bankruptcy in 2010 and closed the last of their stores in 2014 after being unable to compete with Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services. This past week, however, there seems to be a movement from Blockbuster's website making some people believe could be hinting the video store's return.
Over at blockbuster.com, the website originally showed a page talking about the history of the store. Now, it greets visitors with messages such as, "Be Kind While We Rewind," or, "We are working on rewinding your movie." The message is a reference to the store's slogan, "Be Kind, Rewind," which is supposed to help remind customers to rewind their video tapes before returning them to the store. Now, the slogan is being used to seemingly hint at Blockbuster's return.
I remember the days when I went to Blockbuster. For me and probably the majority of you, as well, the excitement in walking into a video store was as high as going into a Toys R' Us. Just the kinds of movies that you can find was limitless. Godzilla movies were definitely there and I remember always getting Mothra vs Godzilla because I was confusing the box cover for Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle For Earth. The box cover always had the Heisei versions of Godzilla and Mothra with the two Mothra larvae. Since it had the 90's version of Godzilla and Mothra on the cover I always fooled myself in thinking it was the 1992 movie rather than the 1964 movie. Of course, I did find other Godzilla movies there too. If not for Blockbuster, I would have learned about the other movies much slower when I caught them on TV, which was not very frequent.
In an era where streaming services dominate the mainstream, Blockbuster coming back as a streaming service would be the most likely outcome. All of us are paying for a service so we can rent and watch movies and TV shows without the extra hassle. However, another streaming service means another subscription plan that might cost another $8-$12 a month. With Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Paramount+, Amazon Prime, and Apple TV+ streaming services are getting expensive and not everyone will be on board if Blockbuster does decide going this route.
Another option is to open small, maintainable number of stores and let nostalgia be the drive of attracting customers. There is a generation that has never experienced what it is like to walk in and rent a movie from a video store rather than relying on streaming services. The people that do remember Blockbuster are now adults and the adults can introduce their kids the experience that they once had. If done correctly, then that money made from customers having nostalgic experiences can be used to open more stores across the US.
The last possible option is that maybe this is neither a streaming service nor a physical store. Maybe Blockbuster is just simply updating their website to look more presentable. It could be something that none of us are really thinking about because we are blinded by nostalgia goggles. For all we know, they could be turning into a new movie theater chain to compete with AMC, Regal, and CineMark. Let's just hope we get an update soon.
What are your thoughts on Blockbuster's message on their website? Do you think they're making a come back or do you think this could be something else? Leave your thoughts in the comments section and make sure to follow me on Facebook, Minds, MeWe, Gab, and TRUTH Social to stay up to date for more news, reviews, and discussions.