Blockbuster Video has Become an Alaskan Tourist Attraction

Is there anyone in the lower 48 that remembers what it was like to go to the movie store and actually rent a movie? Better yet, how many of you actually recall what it was like to go to the movie store and walk out with a few VHS tapes in their clear plastic cases? Yes I just dated myself and yes, it feels good for once because like one of the ladies in the clip says it’s the difference between an e-Reader and an actual book. It’s the difference between being old school and acclimating to the changing of the times. The mere fact that there is a Blockbuster Video still going strong in Alaska is simply awesome. Millennials and Generation Z folks might not remember as well since by the time they were really paying attention DVD’s might have been on the rise, but for those of us in the newly named Xennial generation and anything before we can recall when VHS was the thing.

We can also remember when going to the movie store after a hard day at work, or on the weekend, or on a rainy day when there was nothing else to do was like. It would start with getting to the store, finding a parking spot, hopefully, and then prowling the aisles up and down hoping to find something that caught your attention. Back then movie stores still had a healthy collection, especially Blockbuster. They had movies that were straight to tape, or DVD, and the new releases that had just come out of the theater. Of course back then new releases took a while to make the transition from the theater to the shelves, they weren’t there in a matter of months following the films’ initial release. I mean come on, IT was just released at the end of the summer and already it’s going to be coming out in less than a week on iTunes.

What you need to know about this particular location however is that internet service in Alaska is not like it is here. Their streaming services aren’t as up to speed and for the kind of service that so many other people take for granted they would be charged insane prices that could bankrupt a family or force them to go without something they actually needed. So for entertainment purposes Blockbuster is still the go-to for many people since it gives them the chance to stay up on current movies and actually keep that small, hometown feeling. As someone that was raised for most of his life in a small town I can honestly tell you that feeling is something special.

Thanks to Hulu, Netflix, Redbox, and other services that make obtaining a movie that much easier stores like Blockbuster have been absent from the continental US for some time. There are still holdouts that are privately owned but just as it is in Alaska they are highly dependent on the small town atmosphere and the support of their community. It’s a great thing to know that your community wants you there.

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