You Can Still Find a Rusting Old Blockbuster Video Sign Hanging Out in Saginaw
We all know that the Blockbuster Video chain is long gone, save for a lone holdout in Bend, Oregon, that was featured in the 2020 documentary The Last Blockbuster.
You can still get some nostalgic video rental vibes in Michigan as a Blockbuster Video sign still exists if you know where to look.
You'll find it in a strip mall plaza along Bay Road (M-84) in Saginaw.
The Last Blockbuster Sign?
The pic was shared to the Abandoned, Old and Interesting Places in Michigan Facebook group and certainly did bring back memories.
Old Blockbuster sign in Saginaw...every time I pass it, it gives me nostalgic vibes. I hope they leave it up for a long time, it's pretty cool to still see it up years after it's been out of business.
The[y] should leave I[t] up as a token of appreciation for the 90s
Looks like it might rust away and fall down on its own.
The corner store of the plaza looks to have been the Blockbuster. And while there are plenty of vacant spaces there, Hungry Howies Pizza and HearUSA are holding strong.
There is one kind of active Blockbuster in Michigan, a "Free Blockbuster" in Detroit, a concept akin to Little Free Libraries where anyone can take videos but are encouraged to leave some behind for others.
Michigan in the Rise and Fall of Blockbuster
One interesting connection Michigan has to the growth of Blockbuster is one of the first franchise locations outside of the brand's native Texas was in suburban Detroit.
V1Analytics mapped the growth of Blockbuster and in the first blink-and-you'll-miss-it seconds of the video, you'll see a Blockbuster location spring up near Detroit when the chain was less than 10 stores. A second Michigan location, it looks like Grand Rapids in West Michigan (the video is a bit imprecise on exact locations) pops up quickly before the explosion of nationwide openings.
The chain had less than 100 locations remaining in 2014 when the last Michigan locations (looks like maybe somewhere in Macomb County and Grand Rapids?) closed. And the last Michiganders who could have conceivably rented from a Blockbuster would have done so until February 2016 when a location in South Bend, Indiana (which would have served those in nearby Niles and Edwardsburg) closed. There were just 22 Blockbusters left at the time.
More Nostalgia Feels Ahead
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