Did Netflix Finally Kill the Video Store?

I was surprised to read the news that the last Blockbuster stores were finally closing. I was only surprised because I was under the impression that except for a few stray stores here and there that Blockbuster had been completely done for some time.

I still haven’t joined the Netflix generation, and I miss being able to walk into a store, browse titles on a wall, or through shelves, stumble onto something I hadn’t seen in forever and would love to check out again. It’s also great when a store has an obscure title I’m dying to watch, and you feel like you made a major score when you found it. (This is why I really miss Tower Records, especially when new releases came out on Tuesday and you’d walk into the store, and see a whole shelf of new DVDs waiting for you to buy.)

But now, as Entertainment Weekly tells us, DISH, who own Blockbuster, made the official announcement that Blockbuster is done. “Consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video equipment,” said Joseph P. Clayton, president of DISH in a statement. 

There will still be DISH’s Blockbuster @Home, which offers fifteen movie channels, and Blockbuster on Demand, but the last remaining 300 or so stores are going to be closed by early 2014. While I had a lot of video store memberships all over town, and Blockbuster was nowhere near my favorite, it is a bit sad to see the last video stores finally going out of business. 

It’s been a long time coming, pretty much since VHS was phased out in 2006, but it’s still the end of an era for many, myself included.