It's become increasingly likely that Blockbuster is headed for bankruptcy. And to be honest—who didn't see it coming? The advent of rent-by-mail services like Netflix have quickly rendered Blockbuster obsolete. On top of that, the films were overpriced and the selection infuriatingly limited.
Still, S.T. VanAirsdale at Esquire would like to spare a moment for the dying video rental giant. To him, we'll be losing more than just brick and mortar; we'll be losing community:
You never really knew what you'd find or experience when you stepped inside. Sure, it would never likely be transgressive or especially exotic — good luck in the foreign section — but there was value in the sheer volume of titles, each of which must have entertained someone. From the high-demand new release section to the unorganized row of recent returns at the front desk — where customers plucked hot new titles with the ferocity of lottery addicts — it was where we went to win.
And despite the corny jingles ("Wow! What a difference! Blockbuster Video! Wow!"), a job there was actually glamorous by youthful suburban standards. A geek with curly hair, a bad beard and a seemingly imploded torso became irresistible to women as soon as he donned that blue company-issue polo, having struck the mother lode of wage slavery.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.