Monday, October 19, 2020

35 years of Blockbuster Video

The first Blockbuster Video store opened in Dallas, Texas, USA on this day in 1985.

Blockbuster Video store in Fallowfield, Manchester

At its peak in 2004 there were more than 9,000 stores around the world. 500+ of which were in the UK.

There is now just one Blockbuster Video store left open. It's in Bend, Oregon.

Blockbuster Video in the UK

Blockbuster Video entered the UK video rental market in 1989 following the purchase of Ritz Video.

I remember going to the Ritz Video shop on the Peachcroft Estate in my home town of Abingdon, Oxfordshire back in the late 80's and early 90's. That store became a Blockbuster and I rented some classics from there back in the day.

Blockbuster ceased operations in the UK in December 2013. At the start of that year there were 528 Blockbuster locations in the UK. The number dwindled until October when only 264 shops remained. The remaining stores closed on the 16th December.

There are still clearly visible remnants of the brand on the high street and on retail parks almost seven years later.

This is the old Blockbuster Video store in Fallowfield, Manchester, UK.

Blockbuster Video in Fallowfield, Manchester

We've also been to the Blockbuster Video Express in Colne, Lancashire and found the remains of quite a few other old stores.

Blockbuster Video Express in Colne, Lancashire

Finding a video shop on Video Shop Day 2020

Last Saturday happened to be National Video Shop Day and we were fortunate enough to stumble upon a video rental shop in Little Lever, Bolton! What are the odds?

B.V.C. - Bolton Video Centre in Little Lever
It was like stepping back in time

The old-school video rental shop was fully stocked with VHS tapes. I haven't seen anything like it for years.

What a time capsule.

You can find B.V.C. - Bolton Video Centre in Little Lever.

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