Any kid born before 2005 knows the magic that is Blockbuster: choosing a film to watch at you or your friend's house, wasting an inordinate amount of time perusing the aisles seemingly for no reason. Blockbuster video wasn't just a place where you rented videos. It was the old school equivalent checking your Facebook just to swipe through, even though you know there's nothing new to see there. It was a place for the nerdy kids, the film buffs, the AV kids, and anyone who loved being surrounded by a seeming endless choice of movies.
There was a certain vibe at old Blockbuster stores, and all video shops really, but Blockbusters were the ones where really we had them everywhere. They had a weird smell and a certain vibe. It was both mysterious, family-oriented, or just a place where you could pretty much do anything you wanted. So much so that they even started to install little arcades in them.
If you're nostalgic for the time before streaming video service and Amazon rentals on demand, this is for you.
Everyone you ask that worked at a Blockbuster will tell you how much they hate these people. But if you were driving somewhere in the rain or it took you a while to get there, or even if there were no other Blockbusters nearby, you needed that movie, and some employee "eyeballing" it wasn't it enough. They needed to check again.
There was always a pile of movies from the drop-off box that hadn't been scanned it in yet, and your desired video game or Mel Gibson movie (pre-antisemitic rant) could be there. And all he - or she - needed to do was look.
When the tape didn't need rewinding, you didn't need to stand by the TV waiting to get back to the beginning - the hellish limbo of non-time you suffer through. Sort of what it feels like when you have to restart your Internet router today.
Pacing through the aisles of a Blockbuster took time, concentration and thought - more effort than anything you've probably done today. Except maybe Facebook. But you know how much time you spend on Facebook. I mean that's probably how you got here. That much time.
Which saves you a trip to the grocery store, or waiting in lines at 7-11, or really going anywhere else to go do that thing you just rented to enjoy.