If you’re a regular reader of OPS, you might have heard it mentioned a time or two that in our meteoric rise to here, both Editor in Chief Geoff Todd and myself spent time as clerks in video stores. Once upon a time that job was a badge of honor. These days, it’s practically non-existent.
For our younger readers, video stores were three-dimensional Netflix queues you could walk inside. I know, crazy, right?
I won’t go on too long lamenting the death of the video store at the hands of streaming services, I’ll just say that a good, big video store like Movie Madness in Portland, OR, or Scarecrow in Seattle, or Video Room in NYC beats the shit out of Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon combined every single day of the week and twice on Friday nights.
When the video store was at the height of its influence, there were as many Blockbusters as there were McDonalds, it seemed like, but between streaming and kiosks, all the blue-and-yellow storefronts have slowly been whittled away to one last, lone, non-corporate-affiliated outlet somewhere in America “in the Oak Park Shopping Center between the Ace Hardware and the former O’Kelly Dojo.” While the veracity of their existence might be unbelievable to some, what is undeniable is the charm of their highly-entertaining Twitter feed that oscillates between hilarious, rhapsodical, wistful and bitterly poignant.
For more on the store itself, check out this interview they gave to The Daily Dot, but in the meantime behold some of my favorite tweets from my new favorite feed:
We're trying harder than it looks.
Our manager keeps referring to our store as "The Alamo" which feels disrespectful because of all the people who died there.
Maybe they mean the movie? That was a lost cause, too.
Sometimes when people ask where I work I just say Target because I don't want to deal with the whole rigamarole.
I used to list my occupation on tax forms as “film archivist.”
If you're not satisfied with your Jolly Time Popcorn purchase, bring it back and one of us will taste it and let you know about a refund.
Having a quick drop return slot is a privilege. Not a right.
You would be shocked and appalled how many times I had to clean pee out of the one where I worked.
Attn Barbara Gull, we found the copy of Steel Magnolias on our shelf. We apologize for the negative impact we've had on your credit score.
We're like the opposite of Tupac. We have to constantly prove that we still exist.
It's no longer financially viable for us to laminate Blockbuster cards so you'll just have to be extra careful with them.
I'm sorry, we can't do reservations but no one's been in here in 2 days so I wouldn't worry. https://t.co/LLrCMYburI
And my favorite, this simple plea for respect:
Please stop using the past tense when you speak about us.
I see you, Last Blockbuster In The World. Much love.