The first Blockbuster Video location was opened in 1985, in Dallas, Texas, by Sandy and David Cook. David pulled together the scratch for the startup by selling off the assets of one of the subsidiaries of an oil services business that he owned. Once the Cooks saw the insane amount of cash their first store was bringing in, they said buh-bye to the oil industry entirely in order to focus on Please be Kind, Rewind stickers, full-time. Game rentals became a thing for them, in 1987 (after taking Nintendo to court to secure the privilege of being able to rent out their hardware and games). by 2004, there were 9,094 Blockbuster locations, worldwide. Thanks to cable networks offering video-on-demand and streaming and rental services like Netflix and the Apple iTunes Store drinking their milkshake, the number of Blockbuster locations began to decrease. By 2014, the last 300 corporate stores, owned by Blockbuster, had shut down. A few franchisees held out—for a while.
Today, there's only one Blockbuster Video left on the whole damn planet, located in Bend, Oregon. While this video only details Blockbuster's locations within the continental United States, its a hell of a thing to see just how many there were until streaming video took them (almost) all down.
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