You Can Make It Up: Oprah Closes Her Blockbuster Video Account After 25 Years

By Gabe Delahaye / May 26, 2011

The stadium was packed and all of the celebrities were waiting backstage with their tearful tributes. This was it! After 25 years as a member of Blockbuster Video, Oprah was officially bringing her membership to a close. Tom Cruise came out and embraced Oprah and tears fell down her face and it was incredible. Everyone who had ever worked at that Blockbuster in the 25 years that she had been a member there, renting that BBC documentary Planet Earth, and the Bridget Jones movies, and season one of Alias, which she didn’t like that much, every employee returned for the fairwell, walking down the aisle carrying vigil candles. It was a lot of employees, you can imagine, because of the high turnover of employees at a place like Blockbuster. The only former employees who did not join in the procession were those who were currently serving prison sentences, but that was only 171 of them. Everyone was on their feet. Beyonce played “Halo.” (Oprah once rented the videogame Halo thinking it was a science fiction movie. She yelled at Steadman for 20 minutes while he fiddled with the DVD player trying to get it to work. Eventually their personal chef brought up fresh-made cheddar popcorn and they just watched 60 Minutes.)

“Open your heart,” Oprah said, with tears in her eyes. “Anything is possible if you dream it, even canceling your Blockbuster membership.” It was incredible and very moving. Celine Dion was there, too.