Our Northwest

No more “Make it a Blockbuster night”

Friday, November 8, 2013by  Jon Osterberg

Once upon a time, Americans flocked to Blockbuster each Friday for their weekend at-home entertainment.
   But on Nov. 6, the company announced it will close all remaining U.S. stores by early January. Even its Blockbuster By Mail service will end.
   Blockbuster’s website shows its remaining stores include Northwest locations in Edmonds, Kent, Tacoma, Yakima, Richland, Moses Lake, Vancouver, Bend, Salem, Medford, and four in the greater Portland area.
   Rewind to the 1980s and ‘90s, when Blockbuster was a ubiquitous brand entrenched in American culture. After the video-format war ended with VHS besting Beta videotapes, Blockbuster grew rapidly, squashing mom and pop video stores. “Be kind – rewind” entered our lexicon.
   So what killed Blockbuster? DVDs, Internet downloads, Redbox, Netflix. At my house, we rarely even hassle with those – as a cable subscriber we simply watch On Demand, which offers a variety of free movies and TV shows, or even first-run movies for far less than the price of a theater ticket.
   “Consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment,” said a news release from Blockbuster’s parent company, Dish Network. Read the MyNorthwest.com story.

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