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Blockbusted: What They Turned All Those Old Video Stores Into

April 11, 2014

Since the closing of huge video rental superstores over the last couple of years, there are thousands of empty buildings all across the country. Here’s how those Blockbuster Videos, Hollywood Videos, and more are being converted.

  • Blockbuster_DS_ClosedA Hollywood Video in Champaign, Illinois, was turned into Hollywood Liquors, an oversized liquor store. All the new owners did was take off the “Video” sign and replace it with one that said “Liquors.”
  • A Denver-area Blockbuster was gutted, outfitted with swimming pools, and is now a swimming school for kids and toddlers.
  • A former Blockbuster Video in Queens, New York, was converted into a Radio Shack outlet in 2012. But maybe not for long. Radio Shack might be going the way of Blockbuster, recently announcing the closing of more than 1,100 stores.
  • Most of these former video superstores are too big for the needs of most individual businesses. Commercial realtors have split up the space into multiple compartments. That Blockbuster-now-Radio Shack in Queens only takes up barely half of the vacated space.
  • Panera Bread and Chipotle have “co-branded” many ex-video stores to split the retail space between the two fast food restaurants.
  • Workout Anytime is a chain of 24-hour-a-day gyms based in Georgia. The 2,500-square-foot-plus size of former Blockbusters was the perfect size for the company’s facilities—Workout Anytime has taken over 20 former video stores and is looking to take over 10 more.
  • Several video superstores in London, England, now serve as Loungers, a chain of bars. Before they were bars, but after they were Blockbusters? The stores were a popular hangout for squatters and homeless people.
  • There are many reports of former Blockbuster and Hollywood Video stores changing to new stores…every few months. Seasonal operators like Spirit Halloween fill those retail spaces, only to give way to temporary Christmas stores in the winter and fireworks stands in the summer.
  • Perhaps the most ironic example: six storefronts of the bankrupt Blockbuster in Florida are now home to La Familias…a pawn shop.
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16 Comments
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Carol Frank-Stork Ray
April 11, 2014 4:08 pm

In Lansing, MI, a former Blockbuster store is now 1/2 paint store, 1/2 dentist office….talk about the “odd couple”…..

Nathan Maynard
April 11, 2014 4:20 pm

The old Hollywood Video in Olyphant, PA is a deli. Just about everything is the same (movie star graphics on the floors, dividers, night drop slot…) with cold cases and a deli case dropped in.

Jae
Jae
April 11, 2014 4:33 pm

Here in Louisville, Kentucky one Blockbuster was recently turned into an Urban Outfitters, and my doctor’s office is moving into one soon.

pup4ever
April 11, 2014 5:19 pm

One of ours went to a Panera and another got taken over as a Autozone store with and a local ditrubution hub for Autozone.

Lisa
Lisa
April 11, 2014 5:49 pm

In Maple Valley, Wa it was a liquor store now it is The Original Pancake House, yummy!

Glenn Cuneo
April 11, 2014 5:59 pm

Ours turned into a music store that sells. Cassette tapes, and lawn mowers….

Idoleyes
Idoleyes
April 11, 2014 8:16 pm

Our Blockbuster in Burbank was turned into….nothing. The building is still empty

Rachel
Rachel
April 11, 2014 9:51 pm

Hollywood Video in Thorndale PA 1st became a womans gym. kept the purple paint on the walls and all! Lol

Sensii Miller
April 12, 2014 4:23 am

They would make a decent piatol range.

Jim
Jim
April 12, 2014 6:50 am

Family video in Newaygo, MI is now O’Riley’s Auto Parts.

Ben Baldwin
Ben Baldwin
April 12, 2014 9:23 am

Block buster here in Terre Haute in now a Good Will store. Hollywood video is a verizon, little ceasures pizza, and check into cash.

Lori
Lori
April 12, 2014 9:43 am

One of our Hollywood videos in Lodi, CA turned into a BevMo and the other is an credit union.

Preston
Preston
April 12, 2014 6:52 pm

In Greensboro, NC one was turned into an Urgent Care medical facility

Mateo
Mateo
April 14, 2014 6:37 am

Here in Guelph ON, ours has been turned into a rogers. Not much of an upgrade if you ask me.

Rebecca
Rebecca
June 11, 2014 4:17 pm

In Canada, they tend to get turned into Bulk Barn or Dollarama. I know one that became a Rogers cell phone shop. One of my local Blockbuster stores remains vacant (the pizza place next door must be hurting)

Steve Grunwell
July 17, 2017 7:57 am

The Blockbuster in Gahanna, OH (suburb in NE Columbus) turned into a 101 Beer Kitchen. We used to be able to bring home movies on a Saturday night, now we can bring growlers!

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