Panning for bits of excellence in the river of my mind …

A Nostalgic Look at The Last Blockbuster

Browsing Netflix the other day for something a little different, I found a documentary about The Last Blockbuster video store which is located in Bend, Oregon and run by a lady named Sandi Harding who claims to have employed just about every teenager in town at one point or another.

The film gives a great overview of how Blockbuster came to be and eventually failed as the brick-and-mortar video rental market came and went. I think the one quote that made the movie for me was from Kevin Smith – “We got to see a corporation built up during our lifetime. We also got to see a corporation die.”

This is probably a rite of passage of some kind for every generation, or at least the ones in the last couple centuries. Technologies and trends come and go faster and faster with each generation and, at a certain age, you realize that things that weren’t even around when you were a kid are now obsolete.

My first experience with this was the fax machine. I remember the first commercials for them back around 1980 and thought they looked interesting. I used them quite a bit in one of my first jobs in the late 80s as we would fax daily records between offices in different parts of the country. Obsolescence does not mean that something has disappeared so they’re still around, especially in medical offices from what I understand, but they’re rapidly approaching the status that the old TELEX machine was at when I was at that job in ’89.

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