Looks like it’s Redbox or bust in the Lone Star State: the last Blockbuster in Texas has shut its doors for good, marking yet another nail in the coffin of a franchise that was a fixture of decades past and once dominated the media rental scene.
“I hate to say it,” longtime employee Rick Cavazos told The Monitor. “It’s going to be gone – I owe (the store) a great debt because I met my wife (here), I’m obligated to say it was the most fun job in the world, I enjoyed it – years felt like days … I saw customers (and) crew members grow up.”
Rick and his wife, Liz, were the last three employees on hand to guide customers through the massive liquidation sale that heralded the end times for Edinburg’s Blockbuster. Residents of the mid-sized town poured out to snatch up movies and video games at a deeply discounted price, with lines so long they wrapped around the store.
There are now only seven Blockbusters remaining in the whole of the United States, six of which are situated all the way up in Alaska and the seventh of which calls Bend, Oregon, home.
“It’s sad,” said Alan Payne, who owns the Alaska stores and owned the Edinburg location. “It grew from no stores in the 80s, to it becoming a real part of American culture all over the country by the mid-90s, but by the 2000s it started to decline. We got to see the beginning, the peak, and now, unfortunately this is the end.”
Blockbuster found itself wholly unable to compete with the likes of Redbox and Netflix, companies that provided a similar service in more convenient and user-friendly ways. There were once over 9,000 Blockbusters in the U.S. alone; now, streaming services have all but made their way into every single household.