Step Back In Time To The Blockbuster Living Museum

Before the days of Netflix and the internet there was the “video store.” According to The Onion, Blockbuster was “a specialty shop where customers would exchange money for the short term use of videos in an archaic system called “renting.” Now we can visit the Blockbuster Living Museum to relive those days of yore. Watch The Onion video, inside…

What’s so poignant about this time is the uncertainty. When you get to Blockbuster are they going to have your video? Did someone else rent it? Is there going to be a line? Are the alarms going to sound when you walk out the front door? It was very difficult for the people that lived during this era.

Difficult indeed.

Historic ‘Blockbuster’ Store Offers Glimpse Of How Movies Were Rented In The Past [The Onion]


Edit Your Comment

  1. fluiddruid says:

    Video already removed?

  2. alyssariffic says:

    @fluiddruid: Just worked fine for me.

  3. Truvill says:

    The disappointment that lady had when the movie or whatever was checked out remind me of myself so many years ago.

    I have to say, thanks to On Demand + my own contentment with regards to entertainment, the last movie I ever saw was in a small, independent theatre that was showing “Thank You for Smoking”.

  4. KIbbit says:

    me upon reading the hollywood video post earlier “who the f still goes to a VIDEO store” I dont know how to infer the disgust in the word VIDEO – for some reason

  5. JulesWinnfield says:

    Back in the day, I used to go to Blockbuster every week to rent “Pulp Fiction.” If they didn’t have it, I’d pop a cap in they ass. If they had it, but asked for my Blockbuster card, I’d recite Ezekiel 25:17, then pop a cap in they ass. Then all of a sudden, they closed that store. If I ever find those owners, I’m gonna pop a cap in they ass.

  6. SlappySquirrel says:

    @Truvill: That’s an awesome movie. I’m way excited that the same guy is playing Harvey Dent in the upcoming Batman movie.

  7. Triterion says:

    I love my Netflix, but don’t we need competition like Blockbuster to keep Netflix from raising their prices? I think so!

  8. SpaceCat85 says:

    The last time I went into a video rental store was to scoop up a few oddball VHS tapes they were trying to get rid of. There was much greater variety there than on the regular DVD rental shelves. Sure, 95% of it was garbage, but there were more fun/interesting little movies stuck in there than on the DVD shelves (which had mostly dime-a-dozen blockbusters).

    If I were going to rent a movie from something physical these days, I’d use one of those red “$1/night” DVD rental kiosks that a lot of grocery stores have these days near the exit, versus making an additional trip to a dedicated video rental store that doesn’t really have a better selection of new releases.

  9. Empire says:

    @Triterion: On Demand and iTunes are their competition. Hollywood Video and Blockbuster were never much competition at all.

  10. I own, I own, I own.

    The $5 dump bin at WallyWorld is an excellent source of movies.

  11. Since85 says:

    @Corporate-Shill: Found the first four Rocky movies in there.

  12. Silversmok3 says:

    Haha video tapes and discs , so quaint and historic ( wonders what iTMS movie to download.)

  13. B says:

    @Empire: Netflix has been cutting their prices to compete with Blockbuster’s online service. Not their physical stores, though.

  14. @Since85:

    Good Catch.

  15. metsarethe... says:

    Try Finding a somewhat new Blu-Ray release, nearly impossible…

  16. lesbiansayswhat says:

    One of the best subscriptions to movies was from Hollywood video. $10 and everything was free to rent (3 out at a time) except the newest new releases. I watched many seasons of The Wire, Sopranos, Big Love, etc for probably single digit cents an episode.

    And I remember in elementary school going to Blockbuster every Friday because I was a movie nerd. I was limited to 3 movies a weekend but my parents let me rent anything..I’d spend up to an hour browsing the ‘Drama’ shelves. I no longer browse the internet for movies to watch because it’s just not the same unfortunately. Looking at a great movie box with that blockbuster box behind it in stock..bliss. But the best feeling was walking out with that small white and blue bag, heavy with those large plastic rectangles that snapped open so beautifully. Clunk that black box into the VCR and sit back for a few hours on the couch of cinema. Sure the quality wasn’t as good as DVDs today but none of us knew that then and I was never interrupted by ‘skipping’ or ‘menus’.

  17. thelushie says:

    A blockbuster tribute/museum? This makes me feel old. Like “Sixteen Candles” being called a classic teen flix….or Motley Crue reuniting for a classic rock flashback. I am only 35!

  18. timmus says:

    I don’t care much for the video stores, but what lesbiansayswhat wrote was awesome.

  19. GinaLouise says:

    @lesbiansayswhat: Too true. There really was something special about the video store back when we had no money, no transportation and a lot of weekend nights to fill.

    In middle school, my sister and I rented 150 movies from Blockbuster one year (it was a very boring year). We were rewarded with a Blockbuster Gold Rewards card, entitling us to one (1) Blockbuster favorite with each paid rental Sunday through Thursday, and a bunch of random perks. It’s been well over a decade, but the damn thing still works! you just have to prod the whippersnapper cashiers who’ve never heard of a Blockbuster Favorites memberships.

    Even though I love my membership (it’s like Netflix for EXTRA-cool people), I still enjoy prowling Blockbuster with friends occasionally, bickering endlessly over what movie we’re renting.

  20. FLConsumer says:

    Anyone remember renting LaserDiscs from Blockbuster? I believe that was the last time I set foot in a Blockbuster.

  21. Angryrider says:

    What is this “video renting?” I can understand renting something big like a car or a home, but why videos?
    I get videos for the short term by going to my local book lending site and picking up what I want, or at a friend’s house.

  22. dohtem says:

    Angryrider: or at a friend’s house

    I dislike people like you. The type that relies of borrowing from friends. I have friends that have movies I *purchased* new but I have never seen. Who the HELL has my copy of Saved?

  23. mantari says:

    I just want to say, that this is one of the few satires I’ve seen that have successfully pulled off the documentary-from-the-future angle. Brilliantly done!

  24. Kounji says:

    Wow that was actually pretty funny. There is just way too much competition today.

  25. ByeBye says:

    I used to rent CDs from Blockbuster…those were the days!

  26. lesbiansayswhat says:

    @GinaLouise: I completely forgot about the Gold card! We were awarded the Gold membership for free too. It was like a badge of honor, rent one get one free Sunday-Thursday. I haven’t been in the place since Hollywood became a better deal but I’m sure that Gold card is around here somewhere. I might make a trip back for nostalgia..I bet they still smell the same.

  27. Martine23 says:

    That’s great! I work in a Movie Gallery though, so I wish there had been an actor complaining about late fees. :D

    I like renting more than Netflix. Walking around a rental store while loudly complaining about movies is most of the fun.

  28. Ftp1423 says:

    You guys are forgetting the best part. Blockbuster used to rent VIDEO GAME CONSOLES, yea you could a Nintendo 64 when it was at it’s hottest in terms of demand and still get to play all the games. They need to bring that back.

  29. elephantstomp says:

    Not that it is likely anyone cares… gold has long since topped $5,000,000 per barrel. If ones were to volumetrically fill a 42 gallon barrel with gold, that would be somewhere north of $86,000,000.