It’s been almost a decade since onetime video rental behemoth Blockbuster declared bankruptcy, officially bringing an end to an era when most people got off their couch and traveled to an actual brick-and-mortar store housing actual physical copies of movies, TV shows, video games, and machines that rewound VHS tapes so you could keep your VCR tape heads in-tact.
But the company hasn’t entirely gone away. Since Blockbuster’s downfall in 2010, the remaining stores, growing fewer and fewer by the year, have been on an obsessively reported death watch. Last anyone checked, there were only two left on the entire planet Earth, one of them in the U.S. And now there’s only one.
Mashable caught this one, covered by the Australian Associated Press, which broke the news that one of the two remaining Blockbusters — this one in the Perth suburb of Morley on the other side of the planet — will be closing at month’s end. They fought till the end, said store owner Lyn Borszeky: “We put in a pretty good effort to be the last one in Australia, I suppose, but it was going to happen eventually and now is the time.”
That leaves the Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon triumphant! The store’s Twitter feed even sounded celebratory, as though submerging themselves in self-denial over the possibility that they may not be long for this earth either.
Blockbuster was founded in 1985, and it eventually became the nation’s, and the world’s, dominant video rental chain, putting untold mom-and-pop shops out of business and growing even bigger than rivals like Hollywood Video. At their height, in 2004, they had over 9,000 locations. A couple of days ago they had two. That’s what happens when you don’t adapt to a digitized future that will one day leave your tactile product in the wake! Instead, Blockbuster was replaced by kiosks like Redbox and, of course, that streaming giant that brags about how they’re causing customers to sleep less.
Anyway, better plan that mecca trip to Bend, Oregon fast, like the man who made an epic pilgrimage to the now-defunct branch in Indiana. Surely it can’t be too far into the future when we can quote Agatha Christie, saying, “And then there were none.”