Blockbuster Has Managed to Survive in Alaska

Megalith

24-bit/48kHz
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I’m not the only one who misses Blockbuster, am I? It may be totally pointless now because of streaming and digital delivery, but browsing the action/horror/sci-fi and gaming aisles was such a big part of my childhood, man. While the chain has basically been eradicated, some of the stores are still going strong in Alaska, where limited internet service has forced moviegoers to rent physical copies instead.

…Internet service is substantially more expensive than in most states, since most data packages are not unlimited, but rather charge by the gigabyte, as CBS News reported. Heavy Netflix streamers could end up paying hundreds of dollars per month in Internet bills, Payne said. For this reason, a hefty 20 percent of sales in Payne’s Blockbuster stores come from rentals of TV shows — from the “binge watchers,” he says. Alaska’s cold, long and dark winters also lend themselves to plenty of in-home entertainment, Payne said. The most profitable Blockbuster store is in bitterly cold Fairbanks, where temperatures can reach 50 below zero.
 

Krixon

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Mar 21, 2015
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Blockbuster was a big part of my childhood. I remember going out with my parents and brother to go out and pick a movie/pick out snacks. Renting a movie, at least for me, used to be a bigger deal. While I agree with most, in that Blockbuster really has no place in the digital age, I do miss the experience. Switching on Netflix/Amazon/Google Play just seems less special - but I suppose that's part of viewing your childhood through rose colored glasses.
 

SamuraiInBlack

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There's a local video store in my town that's still doing good. The ISPs in the area are a local company that is utter crap and insanely overpriced, and Comcrap. Comcrap doesn't serve the entire area, which leaves the local ISP, which is a joke. Their connection isn't stable enough or has enough bandwidth to reasonably stream anything video wise. Buddy of mine way back struggled to even get Youtube vids to play in full. That was even after swapping out 2 "bad" modems.
 

SixFootDuo

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What does this tell you? Don't live in fking Alaska or you will travel back in time .... socially.
 

Kellsindell

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Dec 2, 2009
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I enjoyed blockbuster. It was so much easier to find a show you'd never heard of, ask for recommendations, or even waste a few hours watching the movie on their TVs.
 

Pusher of Buttons

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Blockbuster here ran a "Gamepass" or something like that promotion where you paid $20 a month or something and could have 1 game out at a time whenever you wanted (had to renew it and a max of like 2 renewals per game in a row).

I beat the hell out of that thing. Particularly back when they started busting your balls and only allowing certain unlocks if you were the first person to put a code in or whatever. I worked 3rd shift and would hit Blockbuster right after work on release days and always got PS3/360 games on first release. I'd take the game home, plug the code into my Live or PSN account, get the DLC, return, buy it from Gamestop used later or just hold on to it and marathon through it in a week.

Rented a handful of Blurays over the years but I was a Netflix early adopter back in 2002 so video stores really weren't much in my radar unless I just wanted to grab something random.
 

Trimlock

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I miss BB, it was great to round the unknown section (the movies in the middle of the store and not on the wall) and find some fun/interesting movies.
 

Malcador

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Mar 20, 2016
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it was kinda cool going out to pick up a movie for the evening. obviously digital is more convenient, but there's no barely any option for true HD content though. Online is good but it doesn't match a true Blu-Ray so I kinda miss that option for rental.
 

ChefJeff789

Weaksauce
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Jul 2, 2014
Messages
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I can confirm this. My hometown there still has no internet connection faster than a couple Mbps, and even then the latency is unbelievably high (I'm talking measurements in seconds, not ms). Netflix (mailed discs) and video rental shops are the only reasonable options. Isolation creates unusual markets, that's for sure.
 

sleepeeg3

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Netflix's options suck. I miss rental stores simply, because they had more options of anything you would want to watch.

Remember the new releases? How old are Netflix's.
 
D

Deleted member 204526

Guest
Having a movie night with friends and family was more special when part of the experience was driving to the rental place and browsing the shelves for movies which looked interesting, then actually handling and paying for the media at the register.

I miss the physicality of experience. Of actually doing things.
 

MV75

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Eh, still around here. A store and a bunch of the kiosk things. Funny how people say they miss it. Well it'll still be around if you actually kept renting from it, for real, not in your memories.
 

steakman1971

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Hell, I remember it was part of "date night" going with my girlfriend to get a few movies. She'd get to pick one she liked, and I got to pick one she liked (jk). It probably took 30-60 minutes?
I actually think my wife (was girlfriend back then) and I watched more movies when we rented vs now. We have Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc. On the other hand, we also have kids and have less time.
 

Dave65

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I for one miss places like blockbuster, now people just sit meat loafing on the computer, for me it was fun to go out to dinner and then go to Blockbuster, grab a movie and go home to spend the night watching flicks.. Now it is just way to easy.. I miss it!
 

Despotes

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I'd rather go to a BB or some other video store and actually see everything that's available. Many more options than either Netflix or Amazon. Plus you don't have to contend with buffering or error messages during peak internet traffic hours. Also, HD and Ultra HD is not as compressed as it is online. Better picture and sound with a physical disk. Streaming isn't progress. It's putting "convenience" over quality and in reality getting neither. Stupid generation.
 

nightanole

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I dont understand, i have "family videos" popping up all over the place here. And on top of that, its for "the whole family" because if they are not setup next to a school, there is an adult section.
 

Jim Kim

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What does this tell you? Don't live in fking Alaska or you will travel back in time .... socially.
Because pushing a button on your remote control is soooo much more social than seeing an old acquaintance in the isles of BB and chewing the fat over the new releases or having a conversation with the store clerk about your favorite genre.
 

HeadRusch

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Kinda hate Blockbuster because it put all the local rental places OOB, but I will say I miss the pace of life that time represented......your selection was limited and your expectations were set accordingly, you could usually find something to burn up an afternoon or evening, and the 'going out to the store' part probably checked some kind of mental health "Left the house, not a total Loser" box for some folks.
I worked in the late 80's at a Video rental place for like half a year (a career by High School pt job standards), and lemme tell ya, when some dude comes up with a stack of 8 pornos and he won't look you in the eye........you wanna put on gloves. But it's like 1988....and the only people with gloves like that are Doctors........and that's VHS so figure that's like 6 pounds of Porn when you add in the prehistoric Otter Boxes the tapes went out in.....streaming, there, for the win to infinity.
 

Burticus

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I haven't seen too many around Dallas, but when I drive through Oklahoma to go see in-laws I see the "Family Video" stores all over. Most are rural areas, so either the internet sucks or people can't afford it.

Actually having just said that, there is a Movie Trading Company right by the zombie mall Collin Creek in Plano. I took a big box of DVD's to sell a while back and got like $7 for 30 movies. I had them listed on ebay forever and they just weren't moving. Anyway the store looked like a bomb went off inside, crap everywhere, but they did rent games and movies (games for sure, movies I think). Plus they had a bunch of ancient crap, old video game cartridges and stuff. I browsed the Sega Genesis selection but didn't see anything I needed :)

I recently visited family in upstate NY (Catskills) and their internet is next to useless. It's DSL rated "up to" 3mbs, but most times never gets past 768 down. Somewhat usable for checking email and browsing Hardocp, but forget any video streaming. And the latency is awful. They also have satellite internet which is faster, but has caps and gets super expensive if you exceed them.

I still have dreams of opening a local Video/Game/Electronics store... "Uncle Burticus's Blu-Ray Barn", LOL. I've always wanted to run one since I was a kid. I have no idea how I would make a living doing that though.
 

GotNoRice

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I have some fond memories but I'm not sure that I'd say I miss the place.

I remember when my brothers and I rented a Sega Genesis for the weekend (we usually just played our NES & SNES) along with a Game-Genie. Somehow the Game-Genie got stuck in the Sega and the manager at the Blockbuster fucking raged at us when we brought it back like that lol.
 

krotch

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Aug 12, 2004
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I liked Blockbuster, then came Hollywood Video. 5 day rentals for the same price. Started going there more often. Then...Blockbuster came out with those point cards. Hit Gold member and was getting like 5 free rentals a month and a free rental after 5 rentals. I remember you had to pay for the membership, but I was hitting so many points, I no longer paid for that. I had a couple friends on my membership and we were shift workers. So nothing to do but watch movies.

Then I moved out of the country and no more Blockbuster.
 

Viper16

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May 3, 2005
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I use to do the video and video game membership....unlimited movies / games for a monthly fee.
 

BiH115

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I remember going in with my dad on the weekends, or with my buddy's, and we'd just walk around not being able to pick anything because it was more fun to just walk around and talk about how shit this or that movie looked. Good times.
 

nutzo

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Feb 15, 2004
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I recently visited family in upstate NY (Catskills) and their internet is next to useless. It's DSL rated "up to" 3mbs, but most times never gets past 768 down. Somewhat usable for checking email and browsing Hardocp, but forget any video streaming. And the latency is awful. They also have satellite internet which is faster, but has caps and gets super expensive if you exceed them.

We visited some old friends of the wife's family in Northern California. (they live about 10 mile past the middle of nowhere)
They only had dial-up internet, and it was a toll call :eek:

Only cell service was in the small town down the road, and there was no data service, only voice/text.
Even TV was limited to satellite.
 

nilepez

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11,820
Meh. I was a BB customer in the 80s and 90s, but for the most part, the things I'd rent from them are available at Red Box. Yes they had some older movies, but who paid 3 bucks to rent an older movie? I sure didn't. Don't know how the gaming selection differs, because I was a PC gamer and they only rented console games.
 

HeavensCloud

Oswego, not shitty as Buffalo
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I always liked to smaller chains more, probably because I didn't get a BB until I was a teen and I discovered the internet. I always used Movies Plus and Movie Gallery when I was a kid.
 
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