I suppose there is a reason why Netflix is killing Blockbuster.
Nov 21, 2009
The other night I was at Blockbuster to try and find Curb Your Enthusiasm as it is apparently blacklisted on the entire internet (c'mon, Hulu, get to it!). I hadn't been in a Blockbuster in well over 5 years - my hometown had a Hollywood Video instead, and then when I moved to college I just used Netflix. I never really had an opinion of the chain at all.
When I finally located the television section in the store, I found that all 6 copies of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" were already rented. I understand that I live in LA, one of the most populated places ever, and that it's probably just a really, really popular show to rent. Right? Well, then explain to me why they had about 6-10 copies of True Blood AND Mad Men and almost ALL of them were in stock? I may be just a simple consumer but I am PRETTY sure those shows are more popular that Larry David's life on "Curb". Anyone?! Is this an issue of demographics or something??
Regardless, I simply assumed everyone in LA is really into "Curb" right now and got over it and went home. The next night I had the bright idea of calling another Blockbuster location to find "Curb". They told me that they too had nothing in stock for the show. The (very nice!) man on the phone told me that a lot of the show's discs didn't show in the database because apparently "people never returned them". Uh, correct me if I'm wrong but...isn't the POINT of a movie rental store to have a never-ending flow of DVDs being rented out and then replaced, on and on and so forth - forever? Is this the only show this has happened to??? It can't be. Why isn't Blockbuster doing something to fix this???
In addition to my above criticisms, there was just something else that rubbed me the wrong way: I just HATED being there. Maybe it was janky "movies-all-over-the-place-weird-candy-for-sale-in-every-corner-only-two-people-working-the-entire-store" vibe, but I couldn't wait to leave.
I'd say the only redeeming part of my visit was the paper cutouts they had to prepare for the holidays. I love this little guy (sweet Harrison Ford cameo!)
In the last five years or so, nearly all of the Blockbuster locations in my area have closed down, and honestly, I don't miss them. Their prices were a bit ridiculous, and this would be understandable if they had a large selection to choose from, but their library of videos to rent was so-so at best compared to the sadly defunct Hollywood Video. Given how Family Video has most of their selection for only $1 for rental and the rise of online streaming … more