Blockbuster Still Exists

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It does! Blockbuster is alive and kicking in small towns in Alaska because unlimited data is either too expensive or is simply not available. Blockbuster’s Wikipedia page may say, “Blockbuster WAS an American-based provider of home movie and video game rental services” … but the fact remains that Blockbuster is doing good business in Alaska.

This ancient relic of the past is a tourist attraction – some people come to Blockbuster simply to take pictures. The manager of one particular Alaskan Blockbuster hears this phrase very often from people who walk into the store: “Oh my god, can’t believe you’re still here!” It’s fascinating that some people have no choice but to go all the way to a brick and mortar to get a movie and then go all the way back home to watch it and THEN go all the way to the physical store again to return the movie!

I used to go to Blockbuster a lot. Sometimes I would search the whole store twice without being able to find the movie I was looking for. Then I’d ask a Blockbuster worker to help me find it. They would either find it by simply looking more carefully than I did or they would check the database in their computers to see if they had the movie in stock. This process is extremely time consuming. I cannot imagine having to do that today when I can find whatever I want to see online in a matter of seconds.

But surprisingly, some Alaskans prefer to watch movies the good old fashioned way. Apparently there’s a certain pleasure in holding the physical copy of a movie in your hands. According to one Blockbuster loyalist, the difference between watching a movie online and holding the movie in your hands is like the difference between reading an e-book as opposed to reading a physical copy of a book. Convenience be damned! It’s only real if you can hold the product in your hands!

So this is what it is. Blockbuster works in Alaska. Oh and there are many people from the rest of America who actually order merchandise (t-shirts, water bottles) from Alaskan Blockbusters because it’s such a novelty. Not just merchandise, but also Blockbuster membership cards even though they live nowhere near Alaska! The fact that people purchase these things makes Blockbuster feel important. I might order something too.

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