Feb. 13, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

D.C. Blockbusters: Victims of Changing Times

Tom Williams/Roll Call
The Blockbuster sign has been stripped away on Eighth Street to reveal the name of the location’s former owner. Capitol Video Sales also recently closed its Capitol Hill store.

And just a block away, signs hang in the window of what was Capitol Video Sales, which recently closed its Capitol Hill location. (Another location in Dupont Circle remains open.)

“Thanks for 34 Years,” one sign reads.

But even with the Netflix price increase and only a couple Redbox kiosks in the area (one is at the CVS on 845 Bladensburg Road NE near H Street, and the other is at the Harris Teeter on 1350 Potomac Ave. SE), some people didn’t express any nostalgia or sadness over the Blockbuster closure.

“Who would possibly miss Blockbuster shelves filled with nothing but copies of ‘Maid in Manhattan’ or dealing with a surly, judgmental clerk who smirks at you when you’re renting ‘Super Troopers’ for the third time? Or late fees? Or anything having anything to do with rental stores?” asked Chris Fitzgerald, communications director for Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.).

Another staffer tried to be a bit more poetic in his summation.

“Like the days of Politiki, the Blockbuster on Eighth is now a relic of a bygone era,” said Nathaniel Sillin, communications director for Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-N.Y.), referencing the old bar that has since been replaced by the Pour House.

Anne Marie Malecha perhaps put it the most bluntly.

“I didn’t even know they were finally closing,” the communications director for Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) said. “Netflix ruined them a long time ago. I joined in college and never looked back.”

But at least one Hill resident doesn’t know what she’s going to do now that Blockbuster is gone.

Amy Cotton returned her last movie on that last day. She said she was bummed when she heard the news because she didn’t want to pay for Netflix and knew there wasn’t a Redbox nearby.

Since moving to the neighborhood in 2008, she would visit the store at least twice a month. It was a throwback because she grew up with family days dedicated to watching rentals.

“I always thought it contributed to the culture of Barracks Row,” she said. Then she shrugged.

She slipped the DVD case into the return bin.

Fittingly, the movie was “The Way We Were.”

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