My Post Blockbuster Crisis

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By Erika Weisensee, Oregon Writer

It was 1980 something, to borrow a line from singer Mark Wills, when my parents began renting movies from a mom and pop movie rental place in our town. On Friday nights, they’d rent a bunch of movies and the old suitcase style VCR, and we’d make popcorn and drink Coke. It wasn’t long before my parents bought our first VCR and like other families of that era, home movie nights became a fun and frequent part of family life. I loved it!

Not surprisingly, I became a loyal patron of the movie rental places, most recently Blockbuster. I’ve been married almost 10 years, and Alex and I have always enjoyed watching movies at home, usually on weekend nights and accompanied by something yummy to eat. We’d make a date sometimes of going to Blockbuster and walking the aisles. Just like when I was a kid, we would load up with movies for the weekend, especially rainy winter weekends. We are eclectic movie watchers, not just going for the new releases but for old classics like “The African Queen” and newer classics like “Goodfellas” and “Office Space.” As the mama of two small kids, watching chick flicks alone on my couch when the boys are asleep has provided me with much-needed moments of escape.

And so (not to be a complete whiner), I have to tell you I was devastated when the neighborhood Blockbuster closed a few months ago. We had a busy summer and I managed to put it pretty much out of my mind until a couple of weeks ago when the rain set in. I’m between books right now and it was the perfect time to cuddle up and watch a movie. I thought about getting in the car and driving over to the Red Box at the grocery store. I know there are a lot of other options too, but I’m not quite ready to go there. I’m still contemplating (not to be a complete drama queen) the end of an era.

Erika Weisensee is a writing mom and a native Oregonian.