Blockbuster Video's Website Is Suddenly Active Again

The website for Blockbuster Video, owned by Dish Network and remaining essentially unchanged for a decade or so, suddenly changed this week. The site has been replaced by a blue screen with yellow lettering in the Blockbuster font, which says "Please be kind while we rewind" on mobile, and "We are working on rewinding your movie" on desktop. No other context is given for what to expect when the site comes back. Blockbuster, which once boasted over 9,000 locations, filed for bankruptcy in 2010, and by 2014, all of the chain's corporate stores were closed. Other stores, owned by inidividuals who licensed the Blockbuster brand for their franchise, continued to operate after that, but at this point, there is only one left (in Bend, Oregon).

In recent years, Dish has licensed the Blockbuster brand for a number of products and projects that trade on nostalgia, including Netflix's Blockbuster TV show, as well as board games, clothing, and a number of Blockbuster-branded movie poster puzzles. has remained more or less unchanged since 2014, until now.

This year, the Bend Blockbuster store teased a Super Bowl ad, which led some fans and consumers to hope that the brand could be coming back in a bigger way -- either as a streaming service, or as an online retailer. Instead, it turned out to be a fun gimmick where the store released their ad ON Super Bowl Sunday...but only on VHS and YouTube.

The recent revival of Toys "R" Us as an in-store boutique brand for Macy's also led to questions about what other nostalgic brands could return in a similar way.

The Bend store, the subject of the documentary film The Last Blockbuster, also trades on its status as the last vestige of an iconic American brand by selling branded merchandise for what has effectively become a tourist destination.

The documentary itself, crowdfunded on Kickstarter, debuted at a local drive-in theater during the pandemic, and then became a viral hit when it came to (irony of ironies) Netflix. A VHS copy of the movie is currently available on Lunchmeat VHS, and the Blockbuster Bend website has it available in more contemporary formats.

h/t Reddit