John and I recently met two locals who took their love of the now-defunct video store to the next level. At their request, we’ve changed their names protect their anonymity. (Apparently trespassing is a felony around here.)
TCA: What inspired you to explore the old Blockbuster?
Franklin: Okay, so my cousin retweeted this Buzzfeed article called 48 Struggles Only ‘90s Kids Understand. Most of it was just references to TV shows I never watched, but there was this one part about renting videos from Blockbuster. When I read that, I was like: “Oh man, I remember this!”
Bash: Franklin called me all excited, like: “Yo, do you remember this?” And I totally did.
Franklin: Yeah, and then Bash reminded me about the old Blockbuster down the street, so we decided to take a drive.
I’m surprised it wasn’t torn down or renovated into something else.
Bash: It’s been vacant since it closed. There were rumors about it becoming a Domino’s back in ‘09. I don’t know, maybe the rent is too high.
What was the most fucked up thing you saw?
Franklin: Bash is laughing because everything we saw was pretty fucked up.
Bash: It was crazy. Like the old carpet and the check-out counter? They were still there.
Franklin: And the Quick Drop slot. That too.
Bash: And I’m pretty sure there was a DVD case or something in the back corner. I couldn’t see too good. The windows were dirty.
You didn’t go inside?
Franklin: Oh, no, we couldn’t. The place was locked up pretty tight. But there was this gated area around back–
Bash: Where the dumpster used to be.
Franklin: Yeah, yeah. Anyway, that was wide open. We found a bunch of old signs back there. Like from when the store was going out of business. Stuff like “50% OFF ENTIRE STOCK” and “EVERYTHING MUST GO.”
Franklin: I know! [Laughs]
Sounds like you were snooping around for a bit. It’s crazy you guys weren’t caught.
Bash: I don’t want to sound arrogant, but … we’re really good at not getting caught. We like taking risks, but we’re not stupid. That’s kind of our thing.
Franklin: Yeah. This one time in high school, Bash and I stole a couple of beers from my parents’ fridge. Like, just because we could. And we were all, you know, whatever about the whole thing.
Franklin: And when my dad asked me about it, I was just like: “Chill, dad. It’s cool.” You know? And that was that.
So what’s next for Franklin and Bash?
Franklin: We’ve been wanting to visit this other abandoned building near Bash’s place.
Bash: It used to be a Discovery Zone.