Before VHS to DVD in Perth and across the world became popular, in the days of VHS, there were about 9000 Blockbusters store across the world. Now, there’s only 2 of them across the world. One of them is in Bend, Oregon, in the US, the other is in the land down under.
Recently, the Blockbuster store in Toowomba, Queensland closed, leaving only its sister store, Blockbuster Morley, standing, between a real estate agency and a Vietnamese restaurant.
The launch of the streaming giant Netflix four years ago, alongside the growing popularity of VHS to DVD in Perth and across the world, pretty much buried traditional video stores, but Blockbuster Morley continues to attract new members on a weekly basis.
The store’s owner, Lyn Borszeky, has suddenly found herself in the spotlight as media outlets across the AU contact her, asking her what it’s like to be the last woman standing. She says that the recent weeks have been crazy, as they’re just ordinary folks working in the video industry for 3 decades, and, suddenly, they see they’re the last one in the AU, and everyone’s going crazy about it.
The attention has been good for the store, at least, with Borszeky reporting that weekly sign ups went up from 25 a week to about 61.
The Morley store remains in operation, but Mrs. Borszeky and her husband John know that video stores are in dire straits. They’ve owned six stores over the past 30 years, and, of them, Morley is the only one left.
She says that when the digital TV stations became en vogue, they took a hit, but then Netflix came in, which was even worse. She does admit that there’s still loyal customers who enjoy and crave the experience of going to a store and discussing movies with the staff. The 15-30 year old range are gone, as they’re the ones who are into social media and gaming, Mrs. Borszeky reports, but the middle-aged people and families are still showing up, because it’s nostalgic for them, for the parents especially.
The Blockbuster stores in the US boosts its revenue by selling merchandise. Mrs. Borszeky knows of her store’s novelty status, but has yet to take that path.