One Alaskan town gets to experience the joy and nostalgia of Blockbuster Video every.single.day. You’re a little bit jealous, aren’t you?!
When I was growing up, there was nothing more insane than a Friday or Saturday night rush at Blockbuster Video. I remember driving to one of the (many) stores in the area with my dad, just hoping they had whatever new release we were after. My dad would grab my hand and rush into the store as if we were running into a burning building to save a baby.
The new release section was always a madhouse. People of all ages would push and shove, everyone aiming for the same 3 movies. If the first one was out of stock it was onto the next option. If option 2 was out of stock, we moved on to 3, if option 3 was out of stock… you get the point. Sometimes we got lucky, most of the time we did not.
In all honesty, for me, the fun part was not what movie we went home with, the fun part was the fight, the rush, the adventure… and sometimes the win! There was no better feeling than getting up to the register with a consolation movie, haphazardly asking the clerk if the movie you really wanted had been returned and finding out that it HAD. Somehow, that specific experience felt like beating the entire system. (Damn the man! Fight the empire!)
I love streaming services, I don’t want to go back to days of having to fight crowds in a store just to see a movie. But there was something about the experience of Blockbuster that made the movie even more exciting to watch. Is it convenient that I can easily rent a movie on Amazon not long after it’s released in theaters? Yes. Does it feel as victorious to watch? No.
Blockbusters can still be found in Alaska!
Fortunately, Alaska still gets to experience the joy of Blockbuster! With only 10 stores remaining in all of the United States, 6 of those stores exist in Alaska, which makes sense. Internet is not as cheap or as easily accessible in some parts of Alaska, which means streaming movies is not an option. Blockbuster gives communities the option to still rent a movie and experience a cheap date night in the same way we used to back in the 80s and 90s. How amazing is that?!
Watch as VICE visits one of the Alaskan Blockbuster locations: