It’s hard to recall a time before Netflix. The streaming service is one of those inventions that just fit so seamlessly into our lives, as though it’d always been there. But, in fact, Netflix’s streaming option has only been around since 2007. And before then, there were video stores. The most famous of these, the behemoth Blockbuster, was once one such national symbol of America’s love of grabbing a movie on a Friday night (then promptly forgetting to return it for weeks and having to cough up all of your allowance money to pay those late fees). If you want to feel extremely elderly, you can even watch a bunch of kids have literally no idea what a Blockbuster even is.
Alas, excessive late fees alone weren’t enough to keep Blockbuster going. Once late-fee-free Netflix streaming hit the ground running, folks had little need to pay to rent physical DVDs. VHS tapes are not even really a thing anymore, except insofar as mint condition Disney tapes might be worth thousands of dollars to nostalgia collectors.
Blockbuster officially filed for bankruptcy a little over six years ago but since then, reports of its complete death have been exaggerated – or maybe not, because we have no idea how many Blockbusters are ~actually~ still operating.
One Twitter account @loneblockbuster, claiming to be the last remaining location, has been operating since April 2016 – and their tweets are pure, nostalgia-ladden (and slightly depressing) hilarity.
They throw shade at their competitors.
They’re still salty about those late fees.
They wish people would finally just remember to “Be Kind and Rewind,” dammit.
They also get topical, with some choice election references.
And they’re just straight up not willing to get with the technology of the day.
Despite the fact that no actual Blockbuster exists where this Twitter account claims it exists, these tweets are still absolutely priceless.
One site, not affiliated with the now-defunct company or any of its dead-or-alive independent franchisees, purports to actually track the still-operating Blockbuster locations. They claim that there are 11 (in Alaska, Oregon, and Texas) but really, who knows? The final fate of Blockbuster remains the great mystery of our time – though at least we’ll always have @loneblockbuster.