Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Block buster closes with little fanfare

Blockbuster closed completely I guess, today.  It got me thinking about all the video stores I frequented over the years, and one in particular.  In the south bay we had a solid competitor to the Mega video stores called American Video.  This place was huge before stores were huge and the video selection was second to none.

I first came to rent from these folks back when I was living at Park Branham.  They were located in the shopping center at Branham and Almaden Expressway.  I guess this was where the Taco Bell is currently.  The shop was a jumbled maze of racks at this time, with no where near enough space.  Entire sections where hidden away in nooks.  If you wanted Stalker yes they had it you had to nearly get on your hands to find it behind a cash register but it was there.

They moved fairly quickly afterwards, going to the shopping center on Almaden near Cherry.  I think it is or was a dollar store now.  This was sort of the stores hayday, back when it was huge and could hold a sea of folks.  They even had pinball machines going!  This being an independent store had some of the more adult titles, this section of the store was the size of most small video stores at the time.  This being the zenith of blockbuster this store dwarfed two or more of their stores.

Next the store just up and disappeared.  A friend finally let me know they moved over to the Cambrian park shopping center.  This was my favorite configuration of the store.  My buddy Andy once described it like an opium den and this description was pretty apt.  There was a big section of new stuff and newish stuff that mouldered into obscurity.  but it was the hidden alleys of Scifi and Horror that really were filled with forgotten gems.

The staff were great two most knew their stuff or could direct you to the horror , foreign or thriller guys.  Westerns were actually a section, that died off long ago at blockbuster.  They closed up a couple of years ago and become a ski place.  I have to say I regret it you don't get the feel when you scroll through Netflix on your roku.   

An Interesting side note:
We used to have a PaPa Murphy near my house, it closed shortly after the Hollywood Video place, it was next to closed down.  I guess it figured people would not visit it without the video store even though there was a Blockbuster in the shopping center less than a mile away.  I just saw a new Papa murphy is going in, back in the shopping center were the first one was.  I guess people wont make an extra stop for pizza if getting a video, but will a single stop if they are downloading and streaming.

No comments: