The End of An Era... That Actually Ended 15 Years Ago

11.12.2013
do you just have one of those holy shit i'm never getting my childhood back kind of days?  you know logically well that you're an adult and if you're like me at (almost) 29, you've actually been an adult for awhile.  but some days something reminds you that you just can't help but miss being a little kid?

i haven't been to a blockbuster since college.  there's not many left and there hasn't been for years.  but somewhere in the back of my mind i knew some were still open (because there's one by my target) though i realized full well i would never set foot in one again.  yet, somehow, their official closing announcement made me rather sad.  

i felt old thinking of how often i went to blockbuster with my mom, how patient she was while i wandered up and down aisles, pretending i wanted a new release when i actually settled on an olsen twins video every time (until my mom just bought them all for me) and especially how blockbuster movie nights also coincided with my dad being out with his friends and mom and i having waffles and ice cream for dinner.  naturally, the phrase 'good old days' flitted across my mind.  and of course nothing makes you feel older than unironically using the phrase 'good old days.'

though it's been at least 15 years since i've set foot in it, i can still remember exactly how my hometown blockbuster was set up.  i can picture it perfectly, aisle by aisle.  i could walk to that olsen twins section with my eyes closed.  i still know which aisle to avoid because even horror movie cover images give gave me nightmares.  they even routinely stacked the candy and 'movie theater popcorn' at the checkout the same way, back when bart simpson was the face on a box of butterfinger bbs.  much like the rest of my unrelentingly mayberry of a small town (as mayberry as you can be when you border chicago), the lincolnwood blockbuster never changed and that was comforting.

but like the 'purple hotel' that we lincolnwood kids had all our birthday parties at and the dingy 5 screen theater that tried it's best to compete when the megaplex moved in, the blockbuster is now gone.  and it's another reminder that i too need to grow up or get left behind.  i don't like that feeling.  and maybe when you're using a giant video rental chain store and an asbestos infested purple painted motel as metaphors for your life, you should take a prozac.


i'm sure everyone remembers their childhood decade with fondness, but there's just something about us 90s kids.  and i don't mean born in the 90s, i mean born in the 80s and old enough in the 90s to start venturing away from your parents and to actually remember it.  we're very melancholy about that decade.  why is that?  was it really that much better than all the others? (psssh, yes.)  are we just more vocal about it because we're that angsty whiny internet generation?  or are we not far enough removed yet to really just get over it? 

but life does indeed go on, even for 90s kids, and i really am sorry to tell blockbuster and 10 year old stephanie - that's the end of that.  but damn, i was adorable.  and hilarious.





27 comments:

  1. I remember walking around Blockbuster with my first real boyfriend who could drive. I thought I was big shit. I may have to blog about this too. :)

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  2. I am so glad that someone else used to get Olsen twin movies every time too!

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  3. The Olsen twins were the best! I loved watching their movies, though sometimes I get worried that I'm going to see them again and it's going to ruin a wonderful childhood memory. Does that ever happen to you? I didn't get to go Blockbuster very often, maybe a handful of times a year, but when we did get to go my siblings and I would try and keep the trend going as long as possible - making mom or dad go inside to return a movie instead of the drop off box so that we could *hopefully* convince them to rent us another movie and continue what we thought was a wonderful cycle.

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  4. There were 2 main movie stores that we went to (Video Update & I can't remember the actual name of the other one) & I can still close my eyes and picture how to navigate them also! 90's kids are THE BEST. I really don't know 100% exactly what it is about the 90's, and I really don't care, I just know that I am forever proud to be a 90's kid. There was just so much awesomeness in that decade.
    I don't wanna grow up, you can't make me. lol Okay but for real I will forever be a kid at heart. I think I'm a good balance of the two. And when I have kids, I honestly think I will still tell them how awesome the 90's were (they will roll their eyes blah blah) until they hear the bomb ass music from that decade. HA! Oh gosh. I'll stop!
    But to answer your question...yes I have those realizations that my childhood isn't coming back, over and over...I love to reminisce.

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  5. I enjoy your childhood pictures more than I enjoy most things in life.

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  6. I heard on the radio yesterday that the last movie that Blockbuster rented out was "This is the End" before the last store closed. Kind of funny.

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  7. I feel like I need to go home and watch It Takes Two or another quality Olsen Twin movie! And that picture of you - adorable!

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  8. yep, totally agree. there are some days i tour my old neighbourhood and i can't believe how much has changed (everything seems so much smaller!) and at the same time, how nothing has changed.

    also, stuff in the 90s is WAY Cooler than the crap they have now. even the music is 100000% better.

    -kathy
    Vodka and Soda

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  9. the 90s was definitely way better than any other decade. that's a fact.

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  10. I find it strange that we have a local video store at all, I thought everyone was doing Redbox now!

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  11. Blockbuster used to signify the end of the week and the beginning of the weekend with friends. Pajamas, crappy movies and junk food. I remember walking in an just hoping they still had the movie I wanted left, and stalking the counter for returns if they didn't.

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  12. We used to go to blockbuster every Wed night in college! sigh

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  13. I loved blockbuster. Our general manager knew me by name because I was in there so much. I don't like redbox. Why does it get movies so much later and why do they only have 2 good movies with 1933927271 movies that are terrible. Why?

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  14. I grew up in Chicago and went to high school near the "purple hotel"! Loved that reference!

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    1. Haha that's awesome! Which one, Niles West? I went to Regina.

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  15. O wow I so remember blockbuster and the Olsen movies! I had a mini-life crisis the other day when I realized I am 24. I feel that it is all downhill from here. The only positive thing about 25 for me is that I will finally be able to book a hotel room in Panama City Beach, FL lol

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  16. YES! Everything about this post. I feel the exact same way. I never knew how much I would miss my childhood! It makes me extremely excited that I will be in an elementary school this week for observation, and I will be so mad if it isn't the same as the good ol' days.

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  17. I have a "Holy Shit" moment just about every day. Why did I want to be done with high school so badly?! I mean, sometimes I think, "I'd totally go back to high school... for a week... ok, maybe a day..." Hahaha.

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  18. All the posts I see on fbook recently about 90's nostalgia scares me...I can't believe we're so old! But it was an amazing decade. I never would have believe you back in the day if you told me Blockbuster wouldn't be around today, it's amazing how much things change.

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  19. I've never been to a Blockbuster, because where I grew up they didn't have one until I was in college. Instead, I went to family owned ones and a place called Movie Gallery (others closed down years and years before... in the late 90s). It was so much cheaper. I got two new movies for $3.50 and got to keep them for a week. After college, I stopped renting movies. If I want to rent one, which is rare, I go to Redbox.

    Did you see this article, where the last movie rented at Blockbuster was "This is the End?" HAHAHA http://elitedaily.com/news/world/last-movie-ever-rented-blockbuster-end-course/

    P.S. I think I have that costume.

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  20. I loved Blockbuster. My town was too small for one (we had some locally owned rental place) so I never used one until I went to college. One summer my roommate and I watched every.single.season. of One Tree Hill by going and renting them from Blockbuster and posting up on the couch. We did that with Weeds too. I was sad when that Blockbuster closed. :( It's a beer store now, haha.

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  21. I remember when Blockbuster closed in our city (maybe last year or the year before) and I was the same way- just so sad. It probably seemed foolish to others but it was sad knowing that time of renting dvd's is over!

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  22. Ahhhh blockbuster. I used to love getting movies there. I actually the last time I went was about 3-4 years ago. I used to go in an buy movies from there they were always like 3/$20 or something. I know that purple hotel your talking about! Haha I have driven by it a million times

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  23. I hate that blockbuster went out of business...like it fills me with rage...Redbox does not have Mighty Ducks movies and dammit i want to watch one!! (just got netflix via matt's best friend's account hahah...but still not the same!!!) and my inner 10 year old is jealous of your princess costume!!

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  24. Going to the "video" store and picking something out was the best! :) I miss SO many things about being a kid!!!!

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  25. Oh my gosh yes. Everything about Blockbuster just screamed fun. I loved going, hoping that the video you wanted was available, sometimes scrolling through the returns just in case, and waiting in line - sometimes really freaking long lines - just to race home, order a pizza, and enjoy an evening at home with friends and/or family. Video stores were the best in general and I'm so sad that they are replaced by the impersonal (albeit more convenient) red boxes and netflix. Sigh. Great post!

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