Enter A Weird Corporate Nostalgia Time Machine At Blockbuster Pop-Up In SoHo
With the advent of streaming technology, the entire home video rental business model imploded, with a Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon now the last such store in the entire world. But for the next week, you can relive those halcyon days of thumbing through giant blue and white VHS tapes at a Blockbuster pop-up in SoHo—you can even buy a bunch of expensive Blockbuster merch if you are so inclined.
The pop-up, which has been put together by clothing label/lifestyle brand Dumbgood, is a strange time machine back to a simpler time when independent video stores were systematically eradicated by a soulless corporate chain that would one day inexplicably become an object of nostalgic fetishization. A time when algorithms couldn’t recommend you watch The Kominsky Method no matter how much you yell at your television that you have absolutely no desire to do so. It’s open to the public starting today until December 15th at 13 Crosby Street.
As for what you can buy there: there are Blockbuster-emblazoned sweat pants and T-shirts, backpacks that say “Be Kind Rewind,” blue and yellow hoodies, socks, reusable totes, striped shirts and VHS iPhone cases. There’s also various candy bags, mugs, sneakers, and Nalgene bottles, all displayed in front of tons of TV and movie ephemera. There’s also merch from ’90s hits like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Cruel Intentions, and Titanic, and a new release of Dumbgood’s exclusive Seinfeld collaboration.
And if you’re into a more DIY Blockbuster experience, you might be more interested in reading about the secret office Blockbuster on Hudson Street.