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Blockbuster Inc.

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Blockbuster Inc.


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The great success of the VHS VCR-format brought a new type of business, the video rental. During the 80s thousands of video rental stores opened all across the American continent.

Having the possibility to choose what you wanted to watch instead of waiting for a film to come on at the cinemas or TV. This new business also affected and lowered the price of going to the movie theaters.

The millennials were the first children to experience the possibility of watching whatever they wanted whenever they wanted, at home and as many times as they wished to, of course for a small due according to the number of days they rented a film for; but for a 24 hs. rental they could watch a 2 hours film entirely 12 times! (of course who could stand that?). But it was something different, an alternative to movie theaters.

There was one particular chain of video rental stores that became highly popular all around the world; Blockbuster Entertainment (later known as Blockbuster Inc.). The first Blockbuster store opened in Dallas, Texas on October 26, 1985 and was founded by David Cook. Soon Scott Beck and John Melk started buying every Blockbuster franchise they could, opening on average, during a period, a video store every 17 hours. In the 1990s Blockbuster bought out their major UK rival Ritz Video and renamed every store of that chain to Blockbuster, turning into the biggest video rental store in the UK.

By 1995, it was sold to Viacom for $8.4 billion and in 1996 it changed its name from Blockbuster Entertainment Corporation to Blockbuster, Inc. Later it was separated from Viacom in 2004. It reached its peak of popularity during the 90s and the first half of the 2000s. However with the advent of Internet, films piracy, movies downloading, online movies websites, etc; the company experienced a high decline of incomes.

Thus it started closing down lots of stores all around the world and operations in many countries. In 2007 it closed 282 stores only in the United States and on March 17, 2007 it issued a bankruptcy warning after continued drops in revenue. As of 2010 it had a debt of around $1 billion. Nowadays to save the business it is more focused on online rental and salesof films, games and other kind of entertainment.

It is clear that the video rental era is reaching the end nowadays, you can realize that just getting out an taking a stroll around your city to see that lots of video stores have just disappeared, meanwhile Internet is filling up with online videos and films websites. No wonder what is to be blamed for the end of the era of the video rental stores; another symbol of the pop-culture of the 80s (as well as the 90s and early 2000s).

Early millennials experienced the surge, peak and decline of this almost three-decades business while late millennials can easily remember its peak and decline.

We should face it, new trends and lifestyles in our times are short-lived compared to past ones due to high speed new technologies are being developed at.

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