Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Rumors: The Blockbuster on Houston is closing

I'm not a fan of Blockbuster, but I was told by a reliable source that the store on Houston in the Red Square complex is closing...However, I spoke with a manager there who said that this was not true. (He didn't sound all that convincing, but ...)

Regardless, if this rumor was true, then it wouldn't really be a shocker. No secret that the DVD rental business is hurting. (Blockbuster shut their location on 15th Street and Third Avenue.) Plus, you can rent DVDs for a $1 at Blockbuster kiosks at Duane Reade on 14th Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue as well as the Kmart on Astor Place...

Still, where do you do something old-fashioned like rent DVDs these days in the East Village? Two Boots has a greatly reduced video selection... Mondo Kim's is gone... Cinema Classics is gone...And there was a DVD/video store on 10th Street between Avenue C and D -- is that still open? And Intervideo Electronics on First Avenue next to McDonald's rents movies...What places am I forgetting about? Many people I know do NetFlix or check them out from the Tompkins Square library branch.

How soon before there won't be any place left to buy books or music (chain holes like Barnes & Noble, Best Buy aside...)...let alone rent DVDs...?


  1. Not so much afraid of Blockbuster going, but what might come...

  2. True, BaHa...would have to be another chain store of some sort...

  3. Not only that, but there is absolutely no place left anymore to grease the wheel axle for your horse buggy! How long before quality telegraph wire is no longer available in Lower Manhattan?????

    You guys crack me up. Everything is another sign of the neighborhood apocalypse.

    What's especially hilarious is that DVDs didn't even exist 15 years ago, and VHS renting as a business is 25 years old tops. But the default is to cautiously lament this as a demise of old tyme NY. You had to throw in the "books" bit so as not to seem completely ridiculous, but it didn't work.

    Pity poor old Blockbuster, a real EV/LES institution...

  4. Isn't there one on 2nd St. between Avenue C and D as well?

  5. are you people fucking retarded or hypocritical or what? Blockbuster IS a huge corporate chain, you understand this right?

  6. To 6:11 PM: They are not retarded (well, maybe a little) they just fetishize what's already there at the expense of what will be there, with almost no exceptions. Perfect example was the DKNY mural. What was once a corporate yuppie advertisement for unaffordable couture magically became a historical landmark by virtue of the fact that it was there for 15 years. It's pretty funny to see such blantant instances of this. This Blockbuster post is an excellent example.

    DKNY = good corporation. Hollister = bad corporation.

    Blockbuster = acceptable corporation. Barnes and Noble = chain hole.

    It all makes sense once you understand the filter through which everything is passed: if it was there when I was 22, just moved to NYC and was loving life, it's good. Anything that happens afterwards = bad.

  7. Grieve hasn't even been here that long, what, about 15 years? and his buddy Bowery Boogie? from Long Island, moved here in 2007 !!! Posers! No Fucking Posers!!

  8. I have to agree with EV Grieve's critics on this. We are talking Blockbuster, right? The chain store with awful aesthetics and a mediocre selection? And which sells something that you can duplicate better using either an older technology (going to a movie theater) or a newer one (downloading via internet)?

    Are you going to lament the closing of the local Duane Reade next? This is about the same. In fact Duane Reade is a NYC based chain that sells useful stuff. So this is even worse than lamenting the closing of a Duane Reade.

    I disagree with the critics on bookstores. One day, when they come up with an electronic technology that can duplicate browsing, I'll be OK if all the bookstores closed. Until then, I'd like there to be a few open. And even then we will have power outages. The horse and buggy analogy is bad, since older ways of doing things exist alongside newer ones all the time. You even still see police officers on horses now and then.

  9. Thanks for the comment, Prodigal Son. I didn't make myself very clear on this post...I started by writing "I'm not a fan of Blockbuster..." I needed to be more straightforward, perhaps. I don't like Blockbuster. I've never been a Blockbuster member. I'm not upset that they may be closing...ultimately the post was about how few places there are in the East Village to rent DVDs these days. Not a shocker, of course. Just noting it. Also, I thought there may be some news value in a huge, heinous chain store possibly closing in the East Village.

  10. i think it's clear Grieve is not grieving the loss of Blockbuster. he's worried about the loss of DVD rental stores in general. sadly, it seems like the only DVD/video rental stores worth keeping were the alternative ones, like Kim's. and they're gone.

    but that's nothing compared to the loss of bookstores. i will not be okay--and neither will our culture, our future--when all the bookstores close.

  11. I actually like Blockbuster because there's no other place to rent DVDs around here. I use the one on 1st and 17th to pick-up DVDs, and prefer it over Netflix. I enjoy the atmosphere of DVD stores; wandering the aisles and reading the various DVD boxes. I'll be sad if that Blockbuster closes since it's the only place to rent DVDs in this neighborhood. True, the selection isn't great, but it's perfect for recently released films and television series. There used to be a small DVD shop on 14th and Avenue A, but sadly, they were unable to pay the escalating rent.

  12. I think I get the point. Bland, useless places being replaced by even blander, more useless places.

  13. I love NETFLIX.i been using it for a long time.


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