Garbage Day: The End of Blockbuster…in Canada.

Written by Shawn Lotte October 04, 2011


Welcome to Garbage Day where I, Doctor Lotte, will talk about things that I don’t like, and some things I do, but mostly I will talk about shit. Relax, enjoy and don’t forget to take out your trash. 

Today’s Garbage: “This Used To Be My Playground.” Well Blockbuster was at least.

As of September 30, 2011, all of the Blockbusters in Canada closed forever. Leading up to this day were incredible deals starting at 15% off everything and ending with 70% off everything. I ended up spending well over $200 on items ranging from DVD’s and Blu Rays to video games, yet I would give it all to have my Blockbuster back.

So here is my local Blockbuster the night before it closes. START BEING SAD NOW!

In 1985 the first Blockbuster video was opened in Dallas Texas. The business grew by offering a large selection of movies and catering to the tastes of the surrounding neighborhoods. Additionally, if you wanted to thank someone for video game rentals then thank Blockbuster because in 1987 Blockbuster won a court case with Nintendo allowing them to rent out video games; pretty cool, huh? Some of my best memories were in a Blockbuster. My earliest dates back to when I was about five where upon entering a Blockbuster I would avoid the horror movie section because there was a cut out of Freddy Krueger standing in the aisle. I love Freddy, but when I was five I was scared shitless of him.

This is Freddy in Mortal Kombat 9. I was scared of him when I was a kid. WHATEVER!

In 1993 Blockbuster was bought by “top five” giant Viacom and then left them in 2004, and in 2008 Blockbuster tried to buy Circuit City but then passed due to it being a bad investment. Add to this the many changes in rental agreements, including not having to use credit cards to open an account, unlimited game rentals, and no late fees, Blockbuster’s history is varied and expansive. I remember all the great “finds” I would stumble upon like VHS tapes of rare horror movies that were up for sale because no one was renting them (Wes Craven’s New Nightmare – fuck yeah son). Then there were the Criterion collection DVDs that no one cared about because they didn’t know the movies (Videodrome– FUCK YEAH SON!).

This is a great flick so go out and see if you can find it. You can buy it online at Criterion's website.

As of September of last year, Blockbuster filed for chapter 11-bankruptcy protection due to low revenue. Here in Canada we saw the closure of over 200 stores last May with the rest closing in September, one year after they filed for bankruptcy. Stateside, Blockbuster still exists, having been bought by The Dish Network, a South Korean telecommunication company. They purchased them for 320 million dollars and decided to only keep open 500 stores: that’s closing over 3000 stores worldwide. Finally, as I sit here and write this I remember how the workers at Blockbuster knew me by name. How I would rent there every week with my $5 a week allowance, and how I knew where everything in the store was. I was asked a couple times by customers, and sometimes workers, where stuff was and I would proudly show them. I will miss the days of going out and renting something and not renting it lazily over my PS3. I loved my Blockbuster and I will miss it dearly. You know what I won’t miss? The over priced game rentals like COME THE FUCK ON 10 FUCKING BUCKS FOR A GAME RENTAL. I’M GLAD YOU’RE GONE YOU ASSHOLES!

Here I am outside my Blockbuster. Saying goodbye and asking people for money.

Ahem…I mean, goodbye old friend. See ya round.

Love, Shawn Lotte

P.S. Here is the music video for This Used to Be My Playground. I put it here because WHATEVER I’M A SAPPY BITCH!

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