Blockbuster returns to Toronto, but you’re better off getting a library card

The movie swap system pays homage to the nostalgic era of Blockbuster

Free Blockbuster

A Free Blockbuster franchise is opening up in Toronto, making it the first to appear within Ontario. The DVD dispenser is outfitted in the iconic blue Blockbuster colour and reads “take a movie, leave a movie.”

Unfortunately, it appears that more disks have currently left the dispenser than entered it. The box was initially stocked with 10 DVDs, but that number has reportedly fallen to just four films.

“I just hope people watch it and either bring it back or put some of their own out there,” said franchisee Travis MacLachlan, in a recent interview with CTV News.

The Free Blockbuster movement began in 2018, spearheaded by a former Blockbuster employee. The new community video-sharing system was first pioneered using abandoned LA Times newspaper dispensers.

“A Free Blockbuster is a place where people can leave movies so other people can borrow them. Like those Little Free Libraries where you can take or leave a book, but for VHS tapes and DVDs,” according to its website.

Canada’s first franchise opened in 2021, marking Free Blockbuster’s entrance into the international scene.

Blockbuster, the legendary movie rental retailer, went bust across Canada around 2011. The company’s name and colour scheme continues to conjure up a deep sense of nostalgia for many.

Unfortunately for Blockbuster, the emergence of online streaming services like Netflix ultimately spelled the end for its business model.

The Free Blockbuster movement is the sort of spiritual successor to the retail store model that puts a smile to my face. It preserves the aspects of community and physicality in movie watching that was lost in the transition to online streaming services.

Hopefully, Torontonians will keep the movement afloat by donating some of their old disks to the cause. Whether that’s wishful thinking or not is anybody’s guess.

Image credit: Free Blockbuster

Source: Free Blockbuster Via: CTV News