Tag Archives: Redbox

Blockbuster Goes Bust

The recent “06880” post on the local BP station “gas sale” drew nearly as many comments as the number of gallons of oil spilled in the Gulf Coast.

Meanwhile, across the street, another financial story is unfolding.

Blockbuster is about to file for bankruptcy.  (The chain, that is — not the local outlet, which saw the writing on the wall a while ago and shrunk by half.  The rest of the building now houses a big-and-tall men’s store, which for some reason I never patronize.  Go figure.)

Some see the demise of Blockbuster as a sign that the company failed to adapt to changing technologies and tastes.  It was done in, they say, by Netflix, Redbox and streaming video.

Others see it as market payback for a company that charged usurious late fees, advertised “2-day rentals” that were really 1 night only, and did not stock indie films or controversial documentaries.

As someone who avoids chain outlets whenever possible — Doc’s vs. Starbucks is a no-brainer — I see Blockbuster’s bye-bye as karma.

Back in the pre-Blockbuster day, Westport was awash in mom-and-pop video rental stores.  A funky hole-in-the-wall place next to Westport Pizzeria carried 1 copy of every film ever made, in countries even the UN never heard of.

There was a shop in Westfair, and others sprinkled around town.

Blockbuster drove them all out — and such was its domination, I can’t even remember their names.

I do recall Circuit City, Caldor and Sam Goody — area stores that Blockbuster may soon join in that great retail graveyard in the sky.

If you remember any Westport video stores — from that long-ago era of the 1990s — click the “comments” link.

In the meantime, if you’re not a Netflix, Redbox or streaming video fan — or you just want a change of pace — I’ve got 2 words for you:

Westport Library.