Blockbuster’s leaving Montclair Village! After getting a tip earlier today, we confirmed that our very last video store is supposed to bite the dust on June 19th.
It’s easy to jump to conclusions: this Blockbuster wasn’t “making it” due to seismic shifts in movie distribution. After all, movie rental stores have been fading away and getting replaced by Netflix subscriptions, store kiosks and various on-demand options. Our movie viewing behaviors contributed to this corporate decision.
On this rainy Monday, our local outlet still attracted plenty of locals. The parking lot was full, people streamed in and out, and customers queued five-deep at the checkout. You could find the latest releases, lots of popular flicks, evergreens and video games for the taking.
We understand that Blockbuster’s still out there. Apparently the company offers movies first, during an exclusive, one-month window after leaving theaters. And they provide a by-mail service, without any subscription requirement. They are trying to compete for your now-fickle attention.
Good old Blockbuster in Montclair didn’t seem very troubled, so what gives? When we spoke with a Blockbuster employee today, her emotions ran high. Apparently, the building owner seeks to raise rent and intends to lease the building to yet another…bank.
So the end is near for Blockbuster. No more video game release parties, like last year’s Beatles concert. No more box office hits proudly stocked along the back wall. No more browsing for an arcane movie that strikes your fancy. Your movie habits are about to change, unless we rise up and try to save this outlet.