I loved Blockbuster.
When I heard the news of Blockbuster finally giving up the ghost to its modernized, web-streaming competitors, I was inconsolable.
Not because Blockbuster was an inherently efficient or convenient way to view movies as compared to our modern day movie viewing mediums. Not because because it was cheap with a reasonable return period that didn't end with a credit card shark-esque telephone harassment.
I was inconsolable because a part of me had died in a firestorm of obsolete plastic DVD cases.
The entirety of my childhood revolved around Blockbuster and its unmistakable blue ticket. Every single weekend, my dad, my brother and I would rush to that big blue sign and burst in, hoping to add to our already-extensive list of favorites and wisely spend the little amount of time we had together on the weekends.
The movies always changed: Classics, new releases, Westerns and especially cheesy movies that made us cringe with jokes only a dad could appreciate. Despite the constantly changing genres, there was always a common denominator: My dad, my brother and I all spending the entire day watching movies together.
That is what made Blockbuster so successful and so near and dear to my heart. It made movie viewing available to us right in our living rooms, instead of forcing us to sit quietly with our feet stuck to the floor in a cave-like room full of people while forcing viewers to pay for popcorn as if it were bags of flawless diamonds.
Getting to watch nearly any movie my brother and I could have ever wanted, all the while laying next to my dad – instead of being squished in between two hard cup holders and rotten upholstery in some theater – has always be one of my fondest memories. Within a month, that is all Blockbuster will be – a memory.
Although Netflix allows us to avoid worrying about forgetting discs or rewinding uncooperative VHS tapes, it will never replace the excitement of packing into my dad's car and making that 10-minute trip to Blockbuster to run through the aisles, trying to convince my dad to let us rent the "Master of Disguise" for the 15th time, knowing he would always give in.
It will never replace the feeling of rushing home with case in hand, dying to put it into the VCR and popping that bowl of extra buttery popcorn.
And even though Netflix allows for sitting and enjoying the company of our families, it will never replace the Blockbuster experience.
We are the last of our kind. No generation after us will ever have movies as a tangible and concrete joy to be held in our hands. They will never be able to open a little rectangular Christmas present with that movie they have been waiting to watch with their family for weeks. They will never be able to truly appreciate the process and art of movie-making because "The Godfather" will be flippantly disregarded with the same smash of a grubby finger on an iPad as Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
So here's to you, Blockbuster. With all of your inefficiencies and annoying inconveniences, I thank you for creating family events and planned trips just for a single movie that new generations of kids will never get to experience, because their movies need only to be clicked on.
Thanks for fostering my love of movies by making each movie choice have significance, even if it makes my Netflix decisions exponentially less significant now.
But, most importantly, thank you for bringing my family together and giving me something I will never forget.
Chase Parker is a junior in biochemistry and cellular and molecular biology. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.