Videogum

R.I.P. Blockbuster Video

There was a time in American history when parents who wanted a night to themselves would drive their children to a video rental store, where those children could browse through categorized rows of hard-copy movies as a way to keep them busy while their exhausted progenitors had some wine and maybe even an after dinner cocktail for once in their fucking lives. That era has officially ended. From the LA Times:

After dominating the home video rental business for more than a decade and struggling to survive in recent years against upstarts Netflix and Redbox, Blockbuster Inc. is preparing to file for bankruptcy next month, according to people who have been briefed on the matter.

Blockbuster is hoping to use its time in Chapter 11 to restructure a crippling debt load of nearly $1 billion and escape leases on 500 or more of it 3,425 stores in the U.S. Maintaining the support of Hollywood’s film studios during the process will be critical so that Blockbuster can continue to rely upon an uninterrupted supply of new DVDs.

Blockbuster has lost a total of $1.1 billion since the beginning of 2008 and has been severely hamstrung in efforts to grow its business due to interest payments on $920 million in debt. Earlier this month the company announced that most of its debt holders had agreed to a forbearance on interest payments until Sept. 30, during which time it would attempt a recapitalization.

Man, I don’t understand THREE QUARTERS of the words in that article. I think that what it means is children these days are going to have to continue not giving a shit about movies in favor of designer drugs and streaming trampoline accidents to their BlueTooth eye-chips. END OF AN ERA. Now I know how Littlefoot felt in the Land Before Time. Incidentally, the photo used to illustrate this post is of a woman in Liberia using a VHS drop box as an oven to feed her family. LOL. The poor people of the world are going to be devastated to hear about how Blockbuster needs to rewrite its licensing arrangements with major Hollywood studios and amoritize its debts in order to slim down and remain competitive against upcoming rental services like Netflix and Redbox. They will also be devastated by their lack of access to potable water and medical services.