Friday, November 8, 2013

The End of Blockbuster

Through my entire childhood and much of my 20s movie watching required a trip to the video store, where I would walk slowly up and down seemingly endless isles of video tapes trying to decide what I was in the mood for. After paying $4.00 to rent a movie I would have to return to the video store the very next day to avoid late fees. Remember the hassle?  I always resented the video store for the outrageous rental fees and I hated having to make a return trip.

When the video stores switched from VHS tapes to DVDs I was forced to buy a DVD player. At the time Best Buy was giving away a free trial of Netflix with each player. The salesman explained that for just $10 a month I could get unlimited DVD rentals. Frankly it sounded too good to be true. I was paying more than twice that each month in rental fees at the video store - but it was a free trial so there was nothing to lose. I was instantly hooked and never returned to the offensively high cost of video rentals.

As much as I loved my Netflix subscription back in the day, it has become a lifeline since the onset of my chronic migraines. Not having to go out to rent and return movies makes my life so much easier. Plus now they have the streaming service so I can watch all kinds great programming instantly. Netflix has provided great service year after year and remains reasonably priced.

With the recent announcement that Blockbuster is closing their remaining stores I have to admit I'm not surprised. After years of overcharging us all, they were arrogantly slow to respond to the competition that was both forward thinking and reasonably priced. Then came Red Box, conveniently located in every grocery, gas and drug store, offering cheap DVD rentals. Essentially providing an excellent alternative to those without computer access in their homes. Blockbuster will always hold a place in history but they no longer have a role to play in our lives.

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