Some will say chain stores like Blockbuster Video were the beginning of the end for mom and pop video stores. That may be true, but for many, Blockbuster represented a major part of the 90’s for us.
That being said Blockbuster stores had certain key attributes about it that will always signify the 90’s for me. There was nothing like my mom taking me and my brother to grab McDonald’s or Pizza on a Friday night and then letting us rent one or two movies from Blockbuster. Where there were once 9,000 stores nationwide, only (1) remains now.
However, we still have our memories and in no particular order, check them out below:
The Smell- I don’t know if it was the newness of the store or the fresh new video cassettes, but Blockbuster had a distinct smell to it. Those odors combined with the scent of the candy and popcorn products at the front counter produced an amazing odor that we will never ever get to smell again. Someone should consider reproducing this odor!
The Kids Room- While I’m not sure every Blockbuster had a kids playroom, the ones I visited did. They played all the newest kids movies with a cool plastic Fisher Price bench and table plus some other fun items. It was see-through glass but cornered off. It wasn’t really anything special, but again it was part of that special thing that made Blockbuster what it was.
Inconvenience- This may sound silly, but true 90’s fans understand that the world has changed. Today you can stream any movie from anywhere. Part of what made the 90’s so special was that at places like Blockbuster if all the copies of movies or game were gone–they were gone. You simply had to wait for someone to return it. Or you could stalk the gal or guy replacing the returned videos. In the meantime, you didn’t fret you picked another movie and kept going.
The Release Boards- As you were checking out, part of the fun was looking above at the video release boards to see when new movies were coming out.
Your BlockBuster Card- In the 90’s two things signified independence getting your license to drive and your very own BlockBuster video card. It was a badge of honor.
The Store Layout- Something about the store layout was fascinating. You knew that new movies were on the outskirts of the store, with older movies and games in the middle. There was something oddly satisfying about thumbing down the new releases section alphabetically hoping to score one of the 5 to 6 copies set out.
The Blockbuster Song- Plain and simple there was nothing better than “Blockbuster video…wow what a difference”.