Blockbuster Video website update stokes speculation that comeback may happen
There is only one remaining brick-and-mortar Blockbuster store; it's located in Bend, Oregon
Updates to the Blockbuster Video website have fueled speculation among the movie-rental chain’s fans about a potential comeback.
According to the Internet Archive, the website was initially updated in late July 2022 to feature the Blockbuster logo and a message that said, "We are working on rewinding your movie." It also included a pop-up GIF of actor Wayne Knight. An update to the page in August featured a GIF of John Travolta from "Pulp Fiction" superimposed over an aisle of movie rentals at a Blockbuster. The latest update to the Blockbuster website features the brand’s logo and a message stating, "Please be kind while we rewind."
Prior to the updates, the Blockbuster website featured a promotional page that explained how customers can "Make It A Blockbuster Night" and get the "Blockbuster experience" by signing up for Dish Network and getting access to new releases. The page also contained contact information about Blockbuster licensing inquiries.
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Blockbuster Video, which was founded in 1985 and once had more than 9,000 locations in the U.S. at its peak in 2004, offered movie and video game rentals at its brick-and-mortar locations around the country. The company struggled amid the rise in video-on-demand and competition from Netflix and Redbox. It entered bankruptcy in 2010 and was acquired by satellite TV provider Dish Network the following year.
Dish retained some franchise agreements, which allowed the few remaining privately owned Blockbusters to operate under the brand name. After a series of closures in 2019, only one franchise store remains open today, located in Bend, Oregon.
As Blockbuster fans realized the chain’s website had been updated, some took to social media to express their nostalgic excitement about a potential comeback by the brand.
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"Blockbuster website is up hinting at going back in business?" one user tweeted.
Another tweeted, "Some of my favourite childhood memories were going to Blockbuster on a Friday night."
It’s unclear what the changes portend for Blockbuster and whether the brand will be revived in some form beyond the lone remaining store in central Oregon.
The manager of the Blockbuster location in Bend, Oregon, said she was unsure what the website update meant but expressed excitement about seeing what Dish Network may be up to.
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FOX Business reached out to Dish Network but didn’t immediately receive a response.
Adding to the mystery, the Blockbuster Twitter account sent a tweet earlier this month that said, "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."