So. We are down to one last Blockbuster in the United States. After having 9,000 stores nationwide which ruled the late 80’s and 90’s, we have one left in Bend Oregon. Their branding as a wholesome family enterprise was one that resonated and proved to be quite powerful. It created a safe space for parents to bring their young children with out being exposed to unwanted content such as porn or other such seediness. In addition, with a massive collection of movies and bright colors and catchy TV jingles, it made for a circus like atmosphere for the brand. It actually became an event to visit the store itself. Go out to dinner, get a movie and go home with loved ones to enjoy the evening. I know this all to well because I was an employee of the 1st Blockbuster Video in Brooklyn, New York.
I was a Customer Service Representative (CSR) at Blockbuster during my time in College. It was a fun time in my life which to this day I cherish. After reading about the last existing store, I did some self reflecting on why it still means so much for me. Besides being younger and wide eyed about life and the normal predictable reasons, I have to say it was because of the people. My co-workers, the customers, managers were all insane, fun, sinister, interesting, bland yet sexy, stereotypical yet complex characters. I can go on about them but I would be here all night typing and I still would not do the stories justice.
I think this is also the reason why I enjoy the creative industry. Yes, it’s difficult, ever-changing, ferocious and nutty over all. However, with all the cast of characters I have met at every place I have been employed with has given me so many stories and entertainment. Whether it be Art Directors, Designers, Account Reps, Clients etc, many of them have left unbelievably, for better or worse, strong impressions on me. It makes for richer life if you ask me. It makes me smile.
So. to the last Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon. Stay tough. Rock on and enjoy it all as much as you can. When you look back, you will say ... WOW!