Blockbuster Video, Gen X's premier provider of cheap date nights, has been dying a slow death. Once, at the height of its grainy VHS empire, the company counted over 9,000 stores worldwide, but with the rise of a little thing called Netflix and chill, people became unmotivated to put on underwear and walk down physical aisles to pick out a mid-tier rom-com. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2010. A few stores persisted, but have been starving out one by one ever since. Now, one final Blockbuster is fighting at the Alamo. (It's also out of copies of The Alamo.)
As we've talked about before, Alaska, with it's long, long nights and spotty WiFi, was the nation's last true bastion of physical movie rentals. But even out in the frozen wasteland, it could not survive. Not even with the help of John Oliver, who, as a stunt, donated Russell Crowe's leather jock strap from Cinderella Man (and other, less gross movie props) to the Blockbuster in Anchorage, in the hopes that it would attract the millions of Alaskans wishing to witness Crowe's dried up taint sweat. For anyone still needing to return their way overdue copy of Biodome, Bend, Oregon is now the last place to do so.
But if you're worrying about Blockbuster's demise, don't. You're already too late. In a twist worthy of its mystery genre bargain bin, the real Blockbuster has been dead all along. Blockbuster the company has been officially out of business for nearly a decade, while its name and remaining stores having been acquired by Dish Network. Since then, whatever stores remained open were "zombie stores," owned by independent third parties. And whatever hopes some people had of these zombie stores spreading across the land and giving Blockbuster a second life are now squashed too. So it's nearly time to bury Blockbuster again; maybe this time, fill the grave with cement just to be sure.
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Bawitdaba, pass the green beans.
It's hard out there for millionaire purveyors of garbage pizza.