Blockbuster’s Leaving The Village

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.

6 thoughts on “Blockbuster’s Leaving The Village

  1. #1 – There is another video store in the village, an indie at that.

    #2 – Blockbuster recently raised its prices in an ugly way. It used to be $1.99 for older titles. Now everything is $5.

    #3 – Finally, and most critically, the selection at Blockbuster is just not that great. If you look for a strong movies older than 1980, you will be sorely disappointed. It’s one thing to blame Netflix/Redbox/Best Buy/et al, but the real culprit is people’s viewing habits centering on what’s new & hot. The only way for a store to distinguish itself is *not* to have what’s widely available elsewhere. Otherwise it’s really not adding value to the community.

    So Blockbuster fails on the critical three points. Is it the best in the village? Does it try to win on price? Does it offer something unique? Naah. It was convenient, though.

    Just be thankful there’s another tenant coming into that big ugly soon-to-be-empty box, unlike the Blockbuster on MacArthur or the Hollywood on Park (unfortunately situated across the street from the Redbox in the Lucky).

  2. I don’t know how any business survive in the village. Rents seem to be very high – as do the vacancies. We need another bank like we need another coffee shop.

  3. @Shawn:Where is the other video store? Is there one up on Thornhill? (Montclair Elementary parent, I just don’t get up that way much.)

    1. That was Movie Express on Lasalle, but they closed last year. You can try Video Room on Piedmont Ave near Pleasant Valley Ave. Excellent DVD selection.

  4. It is so very important that Banks continue to take over the village, (SIC) along with real estate firms of course.

    What could be more important?

    After all, Wachovia, for example, only laundered $470 Billion in drug money from 2003-2007. They paid their paltry fine for this violation of Federal protocol. No one went to jail. It was business as usual. All is good. Wells Fargo bought them and put that behind them. You trust banks right – they are all “here to serve our community”?

    Further, localization and community are far less important that lessor and corporate profits – even when taking out a struggling dinosaur that has failed to survive in the face of Netflix, Redbox and others. They deserve their fate right?

    RIP Blockbuster – we will miss you – but regretfully, this is the end of our 10 year BBI on line subscription as you are no longer “convenient” in comparison to web deployed media.

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