I noticed recently that our local Blockbuster is closed. Signs offer renters the opportunity to drive to semi-nearby towns but exclaim even more loudly the death of the brick and mortar video store.
Well, perhaps I speak too quickly on that latter point. There will long be small Mom and Pop shops, some even that have a few videos on shelves (along with DVDs and whatever medium comes next). These are the places with dedicated movie geeks, the types of maintain a "secret stash" for friends and cool customers.
One of our independent shops is where I got the unrated version of Bad Lieutenant when Blockbuster only rented a safe R version. Same deal with Requiem for a Dream. Blockbuster, in contrast, was more memorable for its rows of new arrivals, all empty.
In recent years the chain "eliminated" late fees and promised guarantees of new arrivals, and it continues to attempt competition with Netflix. But it seems too late to save Blockbuster.
I haven't rented a video there for years. In fact, it's a point of contention when Jenny does. Given how much we pay for cable and Netflix, given our own DVD collection and the ease of accessing cool (and free) content online, renting from Blockbuster just doesn't make sense to me.
I guess it doesn't make sense to a lot of people.