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Blockbuster to Close Remaining Stores and End Disc By Mail

post #1 of 185
Thread Starter 

It's curtains for Blockbuster's remaining U.S. stores and its disc-by-mail service. The once-dominant video rental company is closing all of its remaining U.S. stores within a couple of months. In addition to shutting down 300 retail locations, Blockbuster will cease its disc-by-mail offering. The company will continue to provide video-on-demand through its Blockbuster Now service, and its parent company—Dish Network—will retain the right to use the brand name. 


Wal-Mart's Vudu and Apple's iTunes managed to fill the need for high-quality online-delivery of new releases, while Netflix dominates the streaming subscription market. Has anyone here used the Blockbuster Now service? Are you happy, sad, or indifferent now that this day has arrived?



"At its height, Blockbuster operated more than 9,000 stores around the world, but in less than a decade its retail presence has been effectively wiped out. It's yet another sign that physical media is all but obsolete for most movie-watchers" source: The Verge


Photo source: The Verge


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post #2 of 185
I'm (a little) sad about it.

I joined their by-mail service when they started offering Blu-Ray rentals. Judging by all the complaints I'd read about Netflix' by-mail service, Blockbuster's was okay. About a year ago, I noticed the selection seemed to be shrinking, and despite having a full queue, often there would be delays in shipping me a new rental. So I canceled last Spring. My local store closed its door over two years ago, despite still being profitable (according to the manager).

Oh well, nothing last forever.
post #3 of 185
I am only a little sad because I worked there during their growing years. I had a lot of fun and met some great people. We used to have cross store Sega hockey tournaments after the store would close at midnight hosting other stores each week in round robin matches. Good times.
post #4 of 185
Sad because it's one less means of attaining high quality disc rentals.
post #5 of 185

I gotta say I'm not really bothered by this. I always felt that once the price of a rental went up past $2.50 it wasn't worth the cost to rent a movie. I pretty much slowed how much I rent when they started charging $3 and up which they've been doing for a long time now. So although I still have a blockbuster member card it has literally been over a decade since I rented a movie from them. I always went to competitors that charged $2 or so.


If renting a movie costs more than $2.50 max, I'm just not going to pay it. Personally, I honestly think for online streams, paying more than $0.99 for a single stream (no monthly plan) is exorbitant and I won't pay it. So for example, Amazon streams that want $1.99 or $2.99 or even $3.99 are outrageous and I'll never pay that amount to stream an individual movie/TV-show. Good luck with that business model!

post #6 of 185
I'm sad as I don't have a good way to get blu-rays now. I'll have to sign up for netflix now to get things like Game of thrones or Breaking bad. I can get most new releases through redbox. I'm not paying $4-$6 to stream sub-par audio even if the video quality is fairly good.
post #7 of 185
A little sad because the trip to the video store has been a way of life since 1984 for me. I've continued to go to Blockbuster for blu rays because I have a sound system and as far as I know the only way to get the lossless formats, like DTS HD Master Audio, is on blu ray. Are any of the streaming services sending out these lossless formats?
post #8 of 185
Originally Posted by vinnie97 View Post

Sad because it's one less means of attaining high quality disc rentals.

Yep, I have a local Family Video store by me - that's it. Once that inevitably goes out of business, back to Netflix I guess.
post #9 of 185
Sad. I liked going into the store and shop around. My Blockbuster closed 1 month ago. Also all the independents are gone. Netflix is okay but I liked going out on a whim and picking up a movie. I'll miss the contact w/real people. smile.gif
post #10 of 185
Haven't been to a Blockbuster for some time. Family Video they built a new one (crazy, I know) over a year ago here and the prices are much better. Then Blockbuster closed every one near me. Before that, they pulled out every Blockbuster kiosk that I occasionally used scattered at various QuikTrips.

I still prefer to have a high quality disc in my hand over subpar streaming.
post #11 of 185
I used to rent multiple movies a week between Blockbuster and Hollywood Video up until 2004, when I started reviewing discs. I had Netflix for a number of years as a fill in source of movies I didn't get for review, but ended up dropping them when they doubled the price overnight. For $8 per month I would pay it and would go months without using it...at $20 a month, they lost a customer and I haven't been back. They may get me for a month next year when "House of Cards" comes out again...I watched the Blu-ray and really liked the show a lot.

I rarely stream anything, but if I do it will be Vudu HDX first...it's very expensive, but compared to going to the movies it's relatively cheap. I will also stream some older movies from my Amazon Prime account and watch it on my iPad or computer. I miss the days of going to the video store though...it was fun to browse the aisles.
post #12 of 185
Good riddance. They were no friend to most people they served. Like many businesses today they were not interested in a fair exchange of goods and they had no problems creating policies designed to simply reach into your wallet and remove the cash from it. They took advantage of people's absent mindedness and depression, charging late fees (a half hours work for many people) even when they had 150 more copies on the shelf. They bought out the movielinks.com site, didn't change it much, but promptly closed down the .99 cent movie special, no doubt a niche movie resource for many low income folks.
post #13 of 185
I knew the day would arrive at some point. It was the local store a few years ago and now the end is finally here. We already have Netflix for streaming so looks like I'll add Blu-ray discs. Wonder how many new customers Netflix will pick up and do they have sufficient discs to accommodate increase in subscribers? No matter whether you like them or not, less competition probably isn't a good thing.
post #14 of 185
I'm laughing at there stupid faces all the way to red box and online downloads. When your profits come from ripping people off, then that is a bad business model and we have a problem. They would charge me full price of another rental when I was a minute late tunring in Sunday before noon. One CEO removed the late fees and the company lost money thus was fired shortly after. They didn't change with the times either. Bad management, greedy and selfish tool bags get what they deserve. I liked Hollywood video way more than I did Blockbuster. So much better without them.
post #15 of 185
yawn --- blockbuster hasn't existed in my area for several years, and was far from relevant the few years prior to it going buh-by. I didn't even know there were any B&M blockbuster stores left anywhere.

I haven't rented from any B&M store since the late 90's. These days, on rare occasions I will rent from redbox - maybe once every 3 or 4 months or so. For me its either buy and add to my collection or catch it on netflix or amazon, the latter mostly for titles i was not all that interested in in the first place.
post #16 of 185
The store in Brighton, Mich, store 26124, I was last in it 3-4 months ago.

What a shame, it's carpet was so dirty and un-kept, the place reeked ucky.....had to say the writing was on the walls...or in this case them smell was in the air.....

I'll see if I can get some deal(s) on blurays, but they are so cheap now for lots of titles I don't want a used one for more than $5....
post #17 of 185
In no way am I sad, here's a company that charged outrageous prices but also ridiculous fees and and other ways to screw over the consumer.

They actually had some potential IMO even after Netflix. If they better advertised and integrated the brick and mortar locations with a mail in service then they'd have the best of both worlds. Part of the reason I wasn't a huge fan of disc based Netflix was the turnaround time sort of sucked, by the time I got in the mood for a movie I'd have to send another one back.. wait a few days for that to arrive.. they ship it and it arrives and as stupid as it seems the movie seemed less appealing.

Especially with games, they could offered unlimited games/movies 2 out at a time for $16-$20 or so and people would be all over that.

At some point I think they offered a package deal like that but I can't seem to find any details and they must have advertised it poorly.
post #18 of 185
Originally Posted by 67jason View Post

yawn --- blockbuster hasn't existed in my area for several years, and was far from relevant the few years prior to it going buh-by. I didn't even know there were any B&M blockbuster stores left anywhere.

I haven't rented from any B&M store since the late 90's. These days, on rare occasions I will rent from redbox - maybe once every 3 or 4 months or so. For me its either buy and add to my collection or catch it on netflix or amazon, the latter mostly for titles i was not all that interested in in the first place.
Where I moved also had/has no stores, but you completely ignore the mail service that was competition for Netflix. Now Netflix can become what so many of you are hating.
post #19 of 185
Very sad, I've rented hundreds of movies from BB.
post #20 of 185
I guess I don't quite get all of the hatred for BB. Yes, some of their policies needed to be changed for the betterment of their customers. However, if one thinks that BB policies are so bad perhaps they haven't rented a car, checked out late from a hotel or paid a bill late ever. Because if they had they would know first hand that BB is not the only company in existence that has put in place many questionable policies.

I will be sad to see my local store close. I know both managers well and BTW, have never been charged a late fee. Helps to get to know people.

Not to sound too old but I guess its a younger generation's world nowadays. They would rather stream a movie on their 3" phone screen or listen to music 90% of the time through earphones.

I don't stream because the audio quality is pathetic and the video is only slightly above that. I don't have a reason to purchase every new title because I don't tend to watch too many movies over and over. Give me the quality of physical media any day of the week over streaming.
post #21 of 185
Sad news for me. I have a 1 disk out at a time plan with the local store for $16 a month. For someone with a dedicated home theater (aren't most on here?) that doesn't want to buy all of the new movies, or wait for delivery by mail..or stream lossy.... this was an OUTSTANDING way to get the latest content on a consistent basis. Great value for $16 a month. Disappointed my options will be red box or buy for now...
post #22 of 185
I read an article from one of their CEO's touting their advantage of having 9,000 retail stores. 9,000 retail stores that became an albatross around the organization's neck. They were too slow to change, charged too much, and didn't pay attention to consumers demands. Pay attention Sears.
post #23 of 185
Good riddance. I used to love the trip to the local with my kids as it was one of those unique experiences you can't get anywhere else, much like, ironically, going to the movie theater and eating movie theater popcorn. When I fell on hard times and was unemployed, I couldn't take the family out as usual so Blockbuster really was a nice (reliable) treat. That particular Christmas I bought my kids each a BB gift card because it's no fun telling the kids "No, I don't have the money to spare to rent a movie or a game this week (thank God for a reversal of fortune)". So I saved up and got them gift cards so they could go whenever they wanted, relatively speaking. That is until they told me a couple months later that we couldn't use the cards any more and had to convert them to some other card program that was half value or full value on the online service. Well...my money was managed tightly so one of my cut backs was internet service. I explained this to management and further explained my particular circumstances (not to mention we were regulars there) and they were more than happy to devalue my kids gift cards. I felt like this company stole from my children (their Christmas presents no less) and after exhausting what they did offer us (again at less value) I never even considered setting foot in another Blockbuster again. I'm not a guy who holds a grudge at all but....yep....still quite bitter about that because life was hard enough at the time. Having to explain to young kids (who still believed in Santa at the time) why they don't have as much rental money as they thought is heartbreaking.
post #24 of 185
Last time I used bb was in the mid 2000s. Then Netflix came along. Gamefly does games and netflix does movies.
post #25 of 185
Wait?? What? I thought this happened like 10 years ago lol I didn't even know they were still around. Wow hats off to BB for sticking around this long
post #26 of 185
Considering Blockbuster drove many superior mom & pop shops out of business and practically invented the late fee, using it to milk their customers for everything they could get, I am not at all disappointed to see them go out of business.

Unfortunately, the company that improved on the movie rental business by removing late fees, Netflix, has gone from a great company to an organization more concerned with their own stock price than they are in keeping their customers happy. They're also not renting discs anymore, not that they kept much Blu-ray stock (despite charging extra for it) to begin with.
post #27 of 185
Not sad at all, because they censored their videos. I watched 2 DAYS IN THE VALLEY in the theater, and a couple of years later, rented it to watch with my brother. There was a really funny scene involving an erection, and it was no longer in the movie. The next day, I complained to the person at Blockbuster, and he confirmed that the corporate office removed parts of movies it found objectionable... without informing their customers.
post #28 of 185

This is scary, it seems like hollywood retards want's all of us to watch digital films. But i'm not gonna watch a poor quality stream with horrible data caps from comcast. Like leo laporte says, "physical media is dead". :rolleyes:

post #29 of 185
About time. Their disc by mail service was awful, especially towards the end.
post #30 of 185
I did their online service for a little while when they took over Wal-Mart's on line service. It was OK, basically the same as Netflix. From what I remember, they raised the cost after a few months and I cancelled. I don't think I ever rented from one of their stores.
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