CATEGORIES Movies, Cinematical


Blockbuster is just about dunked. The blue and yellow whale drank some bad plankton and splashed through a coffee table, and now it's time for someone else to take the helm. Blockbuster's slow death has been a long time coming, and as the company falls under criticism for its sale plan, we're getting to look back to the good ol' days.

Things weren't always this way. Before we could entertain ourselves with new films without ever getting dressed, we had to drag ourselves to the local video store for Hollywood entertainment, and Blockbuster was the best of the bunch -- at least, in comparison to most suburban rental houses. It's the place where many of us saw our first David Lynch flicks, and realized that there was a diverse cinematic world outside of Top Ten releases.

It was also the VHS-store equivalent of 'Cheers,' where every worker knew your name, or was at least ready and waiting to say hello as you entered the door. But that's only part of Blockbuster's modus operandi, as an old, 1990 training video reveals.

When they were at the top of their game, Blockbuster was big on a 3-part motto of "Listen. Think. Act." Naturally, it's a lesson they should have remembered in the changing world of movie rentals, but for now let's stick to the retro goodness.

In the "Blockbuster University" video -- because yes, selling movies requires intense schooling -- a poor employee named Marie gets hassled by Buster, a TV sales guru who simply will not tolerate Blockbuster sales folk missing any opportunities. Some make sense, like alerting a customer with VCR problems that you can rent machines in the store, while others seek to pull every last dime out of their customers wallets. (Renting 8 films? Buy another and rent some more! Have 3 films but want the sold-out 'The Hunt for Red October' too? Rent a different Sean Connery film instead!)

The more they talk about opportunities, the more we wonder when they forgot that lesson themselves. Wax nostalgic with the 2-part training video below.