Nostalgic fans got a thrill this week when they noticed Blockbuster Video reactivated its website, leading social media users to speculate that the movie rental company was staging a comeback.
Blockbuster.com currently has a cryptic message posted that says, “We are working on rewinding your movie.”
The official business Twitter has been active all along and posting jokes.
“New business idea: We’re going to come back as a bank and use VHS and DVDs as currency. Time to go visit your mom,” the company tweeted on March 15.
“Our 2023 New Year’s resolution was to reopen Blockbuster but it seemed like a lot of work so we quit. Should we start going to the gym instead?” the account joked in January.
Blockbuster was established as a video and video game rental service in 1985 by David Cook. At the height of the company’s popularity in 2004, Blockbuster Video boasted more than 9,000 retail stores and employed more than 84,000 people. It became a weekend tradition for many Americans to visit Blockbuster and pick out a movie to watch at home.
Changing technology, especially Netflix DVDs by mail and eventually streaming platforms, led to the downfall of Blockbuster. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2010 and had shuttered most of its stores by 2014.
Currently, one franchise location remains open in Bend, Oregon, and remains a popular tourist destination. “The Last Blockbuster” documentary aired on Netflix in 2020.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE DAILYWIRE+ APP
Some fans were thrilled with the idea of Blockbuster staging a comeback.
“@blockbuster are you coming back? I promise to break up with @netflix if you do! I’m using my mom’s password anyway,” one person shared.
“The Blockbuster website is alive?? if they make a comeback in ANY way I will cry,” another fan agreed.
“Some of my favorite childhood memories were going to Blockbuster on a Friday night,” a third person wrote.
Others questioned how a brick-and-mortar movie rental store could work in the modern world and had suggestions for updating the business.
“They need to become a streaming service and charge less then [sic] Netflix,” one fan suggested.
The company attempted to adapt its movie rental process with changing tastes. In the early days of Netflix, Blockbuster started mailing DVD rentals to customers, but was reluctant to switch to streaming like Netflix did.
The Blockbuster brand was sold to satellite TV company Dish in 2011 for $320 million, per Variety. They owned the licensing rights and created a standalone app called Blockbuster On Demand. The app is not currently available.