Home Hot Takes From the Zoo IN FOCUS: Blockbuster

IN FOCUS: Blockbuster

One day we will tell our children about the times we didn’t have fan-dangled torrents and streaming services and were forced to hunt for our films in the wild.

Hundreds of entertainment scavengers would descend upon their local Blockbuster store in the hope of bagging an elusive new release and also 7 weeklies to help ease the pressure on their frankly unimpressive shelf of overwatched DVDs.

The browsing experience was antiquated and frankly aromatic. Not any good smells mind you. Old DVD covers, crop-dusting grubs and the carpet that seemed to trap every scent like an evil prison of damned odours. You never knew how much you’d miss this smell until it was gone.

It should be noted the new release and weekly browsing experience differed vastly. Weekly aisles were a barren wasteland of forgotten films. You’d try to avoid eye contact with loads of unloved options in your search for the diamonds in the rough. This must be how Brad & Angelina felt baby shopping.

New releases, however, were displayed like idols to the gods themselves. There was a real sense that life was as good as it gets when mum said you could hire more than one. Those display shelves even seemed to glow a bit. 

Of course, we suffered from a great hubris thinking we could simply acquire this godly tokens for ourselves. Many of us were unable to abide by the strict overnight return schedule and slowly buried our accounts in the tomb of late fees.

There was no greater disappointment than being told you had to pay off a little bit of your every growing total before you could rent out Billy Madison for the 6th time. There goes the Violet Crumble you were eying off. You had yourself to blame.

Of course, before you checked out your haul you’d have to conduct a little walk-by the dirty section to see if you could get a sweet glance of some R-Rated tiddy on the back of a DNA encrusted cover. You’d be best to avoid the dude playing pocket billiards though. He’s probably in prison now.

This entertainment ecosystem thrived for many years and was a beautiful sanctuary. That was until you finally pushed them too far and they set their goons on you for that lost copy of Tekken.

This was an entire generation’s first foray into the world of debt collection. Those videos boys sure didn’t fuck around. You’d feel like a real pilchard if a bank denied you a loan due to a PlayStation game. Wouldn’t ya. 

In true Perth fashion, we were home to the second last Blockbuster in the world. Morley fought hard to keep this relic alive but inevitably fell to the allure of Netflix. Vale Blockbuster, we miss you every day.

Documenting the Human Zoo is thirsty work, so if you enjoyed what you read how about buying Belle a beer, ay?

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