First there was the movie. Then years later, you might get to see it on TV, but you better watch it when it was scheduled, or you wouldn’t be able to see it until it came back to TV again. Then came the magic of video tape and stores that rented movies on video cassettes. It was a movie-lovers dream.

Video rental stores were popping up all over the place, but God bless the independent video store when a Blockbuster Video store opened up. They just about drove everybody out of business. At their peak, there were 9,000 Blockbuster stores.

The problem was they got greedy. They kept upping the rental fees, and you better not be late returning your rental – you could end up paying a hefty late fee. You loved the convenience and the selection at Blockbuster, so you had to do as they said.

But not so fast, Blockbuster. Here comes Netflix. Movies delivered right to your house. And then there was Redbox, and at only a dollar a rental. What a deal. Those Redbox machines popped up everywhere. Better yet – streaming videos.

That was the beginning of the end for Blockbuster. Stores began to close. A few at a time, then more and more, and it became a wave of closings. Finally, this week, Blockbuster announced its last 300 locations across the country will be closing for good, along with its disc-by-mail service.

They just couldn’t compete against companies that found a better way.

Blockbuster was great when it first opened, but the long wait in line to check out movies on Friday and Saturday night was irritating because they didn’t have enough people working. And if you didn’t get there early, the best of the newest releases would be gone because they just didn’t stock enough.

The downward spiral of Blockbuster took about ten years and with this week’s announcement it will become complete by the end of January. Goodbye, Blockbuster.