Saturday, June 11, 2022

Making it a Blockbusters NQ night

Drinking in a video store.

Blockbusters NQ in Manchester

We finally made it to Blockbusters NQ in Manchester last Thursday.

Blockbusters NQ in Manchester
Not a video store

It was nice to have a drink in a 'video shop' speakeasy.

Blockbusters NQ in Manchester
It was nice to be on the INSIDE of a new bar for a change!

We first heard about the nostalgia-inducing video rental shop bar last November and have been looking forward to stepping inside since we first saw it.

Blockbusters NQ in Manchester

The theming is really well done and the bar had a chilled atmosphere. It's worth a visit.

Blockbusters NQ in Manchester
An eclectic selection

Blockbusters NQ in Manchester
You can never have enough copies of True Lies. I prefer the Laserdisc edition myself

Most of the videos are retail ones rather than ex-rental tapes, but there are some big box treats to find lurking on the shelves.

Blockbusters NQ in Manchester
A look at the cocktail menu and one of the big box ex-rental Blockbuster Video tapes I found on the shelves

Blockbusters NQ in Manchester
The Chase is the best bit of Midnight Express

Blockbusters NQ in Manchester
This big box ex-rental tape is from a Video Box Office store.Video Box Office was the Business to Business part of ChoicesUK and launched in the UK in 1985 when the brand offered video rental services via third-party convenience stores. As the popularity of physical media rentals declined in the late noughties 59 ChoicesUK shops were taken over and rebranded as Blockbuster stores! We found an old Video Box Office presence inside a Happy Shopper in Ilkeston, Derby in 2020

Blockbusters NQ in Manchester

Check out the Blockbusters NQ website for more information and opening times.

Blockbuster Video

We're big fans of video, videos stores, retail history and retro stuff and have been visiting and documenting the last remaining traces of the Blockbuster brand in the UK over the last few years. We've seen a number of the brand's shopfronts, signs and QuikDrop boxes. As well as some other video shops.

Blockbuster Video at Fallowfield Retail Park in Manchester, June 2020
Blockbuster Video at Fallowfield Retail Park in Manchester, June 2020

Blockbuster Video Stores

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

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

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

However, the UK's high streets, shopping precincts, malls and retail parks still hold traces of the brand. And we've been to most of them!

We've now visited 28 former Blockbuster Video stores since we found the remains of the Fallowfield shop.

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