By: Louis Falcinelli

Some time back, I was driving through a familiar area, and caught, out of the side of my eye,  a building, its lettering, faded, its color, worn, and its frame, essentially condemned. It had been a popular video store I had frequented in my youth, it was a Blockbuster. This shook me up, immediately transporting  me back into the store that was the cornerstone of my youth, renting movies. Any bottle rotter can surely remember the days of waiting for your parent or guardian to get home just so you could go out and “rent a video”. It was on par with a heavenly experience to any child, as it allowed them to get out of the house and get lost in a place that manufactured a way for them to get lost in a reality of their choosing. You didn’t rent movies, you rented dreams, ideas, possibilities, in general.

bbWalking through the front door of this place filled with a variety of movie candy and popcorn, allowing you to roam the many genres, each aisle might as well have been another world from the box covers alone,  laughing faces usually served as Comedy, frightening images or horrific expressions, Horror, space covers and or futuristic creatures, Sci-fi, and so on. It was an exploration or odyssey in its own right. Truly glorious.


There were instances where your parental figure could use it as a bartering tool:

“Now if you’re good will go to the video store.”

Or a punishment:

“Cause you were bad we’re now not going to the video store!”

Other times when you invited a friend over or you went to their house, this would add to your hanging out, serving as a popular social event,  while still a preteen, and beyond. Late night rental sessions when you were old enough to drive, getting a few movies based on the most bizarre covers, some fast-food,  and you were set! What a night! But… When we grew, technology seemed  to get too advanced too quickly , and the days of no late fees and a buck a video, were no longer relevant, quickly replaced with an entire video store in a box. There was no more exploration, the odyssey had ended.

Now you either swipe a credit card and touch the screen for your movie of choice, or have it all  from the  comfort of your very own home, where your TV screen streams any movie, anytime, anywhere. Driving past this place, that nostalgia quickly rushed back, making me sad. Cause as fun  as I had, and memories I shared, I thought, my children, the next generation of children, will never know Blockbuster or the like, well, they may know about it, but never be able to truly know that indescribable feeling of what it was like to go into a store, which was more than a store, and  rent a movie, which was more than just renting one.

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