Blockbuster

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We must keep as our goal turning away from production for war and expanding production for peace.png This entry refers to a departed business that has closed or left town.
All information here is for historical reference only.

blockbuster.jpgDowntown Location

Blockbusted.jpgShortly after closing

Location
303 F Street, near FedEx Office formerly Kinko's
Hours
Sun-Thu 10:00AM - 11:00 PM
Fri-Sat 10:00AM - Midnight
Summer Hours
Sun-Thu 10:00AM - 11:00PM
Fri-Sat 10:00AM - 1:00AM
Phone
(530) 757-9283
Owner
Dish Network Corporation, previously Blockbuster, Inc.
Closed
04/2011

Blockbuster is a chain of stores that rents DVDs and video games. There used to be 2 stores in Davis. The last store in Davis closed in April of 2011. Blockbuster also sold used videos and games (including PSP games).

The last day of rentals at the downtown store was Wednesday, 2011-02-23. Soon after that they started selling their stock. The store closed its doors permanently in early April, although the lease expires in August. This is just coincidental with the 49er Video store closing. The Davis store was one of the most profitable, so it wasn't due to finances but due to a dispute with the landlord, Colliers International. As of March 2011, Colliers is seeking a new tenant and is asking $15,000/month lease for the 6,000 sq. ft. building.

Blockbuster stores across the U.S. stopped honoring Blockbuster gift cards after April 6, 2011. This was due to their bankruptcy proceedings. If you have an old Blockbuster gift card from the old Blockbuster company, it is now worthless.

The traditional rental system at Blockbuster was focused on due dates for rented movies. They sold memberships so you can have movies for indefinite periods. They also started a monthly candy program where you could take one candy item home with any rental you make (including the 5 free swaps per month with their online rental program) for a flat fee. They also started an online movie rental service in an attempt to compete with [WWW]Netflix. Blockbuster's online program let you exchange 5 movies per month that they've mailed to you for in-store rentals. During peak-store hours it could take you at least 20 minutes to get through the line.

Blockbuster has signed agreements with several major movie studios allowing them to rent newly released movies 28 days before Netflix and Redbox. Netflix and Redbox signed agreements that call for a 28 day delay before they can rent certain newly released movies. Blockbuster can rent those movies on the very first day that those movies go on sale in stores. The same 28 day advantage applies at other video rental stores.

Blockbuster was equipped with special magnetic devices that caused the security checkpoints to beep when people tried to steal discs.

They were also the most expensive movie rental place in town. Try one of the other video stores if you don't want to pay an arm and leg - because you really don't have to.

A Blockbuster location in the The Marketplace closed in April 2009.

According to [WWW]this article, Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy on September 23rd, 2010, as the result of [WWW]competition from Netflix and Redbox. Stores continued to operate normally, but many were likely to be closed. Dish Network Corporation, the second largest satellite provider, bought Blockbuster at a bankruptcy auction in April 2011. The old Blockbuster, Inc. is no more. Dish Network intended to keep about 1,500 stores open out of the remaining 1,700 at the time of the purchase. The corporate stores were eventually all closed. However, about 50 Blockbuster stores operated by independent owners as franchises currently operate in various states. The local owners pay to use the Blockbuster name and run their stores with quite a degree of independence.

Panera Bread moved into part of the old Blockbuster building in downtown in August 2012. About 2,000 square feet is open for another business.

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I once rented at the Downtown store, and the gentleman behind the counter looked at me and said, "You look like the sort of person who is angry all the time." Nevermind for a moment that he was right. Such a comment is uncalled for in polite society, especially coming from the video check out person. I was too shocked to retort. I suppose people think they can do anything when they work for a company that is successful even though it has always had the highest prices. To be fair, let me add that the selection is great at Covell: they have some movies that you can't find elsewhere, especially in the foreign section (though everything there requires you to be 17+, even the cheesy Hong Kong comedies).MisterProfessor


2006-01-20 17:09:09   how are prices? —NumiaCairaguas


2006-01-20 18:16:24   The North Davis Blockbuster once sent me to collections over a late fee of $7.42. Paid the late fee and cancelled my account on the same day, and I'm never going back. Pricks. —BigDave


2006-02-02 23:21:10   My boyfriend & I had an awful experience @ the N. Davis Blockbuster tonight... went in (after going to 49er when they were out of the DVD we wanted) to rent & tried to just give them the account name (I don't carry the card cuz fat card-filled wallets = annoying), but apparently their "system" deletes accounts after 90 days of non-use so they made us fill out a whole new application w/ credit cards & all...mind you, this whole time the apparent manager was being very rude and belittling his coworker, and the process took over 15 min. To make a long story less long, it was an ordeal, the manager was a jerk (kept calling my boyfriend "buddy" in a condescending way), was outright mean to his coworker, & the experience led to us taking back our application & leaving VERY unsatisfied. I won't go to Blockbuster again. And what's up with the 90-day deletion thing? Way to make life difficult for everyone, Blockbuster! Go to 49er video or get Netflix...waaay better. —EmilyBlake


2006-02-03 03:20:34   Numia: The prices are a shakedown. New Releases: $4.69. Regular: $4.49. I rented 3 videos last week (1 New, 2 Reg) and the total came out to $13.67, before tax. That's a pretty shitty deal, considering I only bothered watching each movie once. Contrast that with Netflix's $17.99 for their 3-movies-at once plan, with "unlimited" rental time. You can likely rent more than just 3 movies a month and it will more than make up for the initial $4.32 cost over Blockbuster. Obviously, they charge for the convienence, but with some forethought, you won't have to deal with this bullshit. —JohnNapier


2006-03-04 16:52:03   I think the owners of Blockbuster are Italian, my DVD says "DAVIS-W Covelle/Sigamore" at the top. —ArlenAbraham


2006-07-01 02:16:32   The selection at the downtown store really sucks unless you are renting a new release. They are also way too expensive. —DudeNude


If you want to "save money," check out blockbuster's online movie rental that is comparable to Netflix. I'm paying $17.99 monthly with blockbuster online service and they give you 2 free "walk in" rentals monthly. So, if you're between online movies...just walk in and select 2 free movies @ blockbuster. By the way, I was very pleased with the foreign & Indie selections at the Downtown location. I don't know what DudeNude is griping about. —(JoeCustomer)


2006-12-16 13:58:44   I think it's part of their corporate policy to make sure that you can't get out of there in 20 minutes or less. I've walked in, spent 2 minutes picking out a movie, and then another 40 waiting in line, arguing with the clerk (I try and use the coupons/blockbuster rewards to save money) and then finally renting the movie. It's awful. I hate this place and am going to write the manager to tell them how awful it is. —AmyGoogenspa


2007-01-21 03:02:58   I rented a movie there about 2 weeks ago and it too forever because they couldn't just call up my account, they had to call the store in San Jose to get some number and then they could rent me the movie. But eve though that was a big hassle the women who dealt with me was very friendly and kind throughout, so it wasn't so bad. —NathanielFurniss


2007-01-21 13:01:40   Someone [actually a group of 3] stole the gumball machine out of the North Davis Blockbuster. And alot of there inventory dissapeared mysteriously a couple years back... Damn kids —StevenDaubert


2007-01-29 00:01:16   Personally, I'm a fan of Blockbuster. I've never had a bad experience at the North Davis one, and I've been living about 200 yards from it for the past 4 years. The employees have always been both friendly and helpful. I also started doing the online service, and I love it. $17.99/month for 3 movies out at a time, like NetFlix, but you can take those mailed DVDs back to the Blockbuster store to exchange for any rental, for free. Basically, it nixes the turnaround time. I do agree that Blockbuster's regular rental prices are too high, and that their in-store selection is mediocre. With the online service, though, it's not an issue. —TomGarberson


2007-03-12 14:46:54   I don't know if anyone has the same experience as me. Hopefully not, because it is not a good experience. From the downtown blockbuster, I rented movies several times. Recently, they charged me for a movie that I returned long ago. When I asked for help in resolving the matter, they weren't even that helpful. They simply said, "our record shows that you didn't return." BUT I swear to God (with all due respect) that I don't have the movie. It just really upset me that I had to pay 25 dollars for a movie that I DON'T even have, and this is not even the first time that this had happened. What upset me even more is that the employee there or even the manager does not try to help me the problem. I hope nothing like this ever happen to other people...because it is really upsetting to be accused of something you didn't even do. —CarlieYang


2007-05-15 23:18:41   In my experience, the Downtown Blockbuster provides the worst service of any establishment in Davis (at least any that I have been to). I've never spent less than 20 minutes standing in line regardless of how many people are actually waiting ahead of me. Most recently, I went with a couple of friends, one of whom had an account. Our check out person couldn't find the account in their computer and spent 10 minutes on the phone with the North Davis Blockbuster before she concluded that the account didn't exist at either store. We then tried to open a new account, but they were out of applications (can Blockbuster really be that popular??). The woman also mentioned something about how all of their bathroom keys had been stolen. —Ami


2007-09-28 00:39:36   The downtown Blockbuster has had a lot of problems with people going into the bathroom with DVDs and stealing them. That is why they are not letting people into the bathrooms. —BrandonMinow


2007-09-29 08:50:21   I use Netflix but occasionally use my mother's blockbuster account. I went to the North Davis location to rent a movie and they said that the credit card on the account had expired so I would have to provide a new one to continue renting. I gave them my credit card and went on my way. A few weeks later, I went to the downtown location. They told me the credit card on the account had expired and I would have to give them a new one. I told them I had just given them my card at the N. Davis a few weeks before. They said sometimes the two locations aren't connected, so I'd have to do it again at this location. So I did. A month later I was at the N. Davis location again. They said the credit card on the account had expired. I told them I had just renewed it two months before at that exact location. They had no explanation for me and I left without renting anything. —ElleWeber


2007-11-05 22:05:31   You would think that a company that big would have a system that was in sync with all the other stores. They make it so hard for anyone to rent movies from them. Thank you for having Netflix around, if it was not for them, I do not think I could ever step foot into another Blockbuster again.... Rude and unfriendly stafff.... —AC


2008-01-20 23:19:45   My dog chewed up a DVD a few years ago, and they didn't charge me for it when I brought it back to them. Now I rent through the online system, which is very convenient. —Dr.Lindsay


2008-02-05 13:27:31   My most recent visit with the downtown store was completely hassel free. As soon as I walked in the store I was greeted by an employee who then helped me find the list of movies I was looking for. It seems their current crop of college-kids are actually on the ball. I did make the mistake of going on an ulta-busy Friday night, but it must have been under two minutes before I was at the register and out the door. The employee who rang me up did need my credit card information, but kindly explained that they update every three months to keep things current. She also explained that it helped prevent charges from having to go through the collection agency (which I appreciate). I was suprised to find out that they had done away with the late fees that can accumulate very quickly at other stores. Instead, you have a seven-day grace period on your rental before the movie charges to you. Even after that, you have a chance to return the movie and have the money refunded. In total it was something like thirty seven days you get to keep it for only the rental price plus the restocking fee. Sounds good to me! —BusinessCritic


2008-03-20 09:42:08   Hmmm.... Okaaaayyyy..... so I DON'T think I'll be renting from Blockbuster given all that I've read below. The negative comments outweights the positive something like 20:1. But truth be told, I never really liked Blockbuster anyway. My favorite in store rental is Hollywood Video for the service and for the better selection— but the closest location is in woodland. Unfortunately, I don't have time for netflix. —AnnieSirrah


2008-04-02 14:39:31   joe mah at the covell blockbuster is a snake in the grass —mikeangius


2008-05-21 18:29:21   Renting from blockbuster isn't that great, but waiting for the 3 for $20 or 4 for $20 sales to buy used DVD's is a steal. Just remember to check your disks before you leave the store, regularly they sell used DVDs that look like someone etched their name in it or something. —jsramahi


2008-05-30 00:40:45   I have two complaints, one for each store. One, happened a little earlier tonight at the marketplace store, I arrive 5 minutes before closing and yes, my clock is perfectly accurate. Never mind the difficulty in getting there on time to exchange a blockbuster online rental which would of been very nice to have exchanged right then and there. I was turned away, I told them they weren't closed yet and they just quoted what there clock said (Which would make it maybe 10 minutes fast? Either that or they where lying, which I think was more likely, in the end I am very unhappy.)

On to two, for the downtown store, this did not happen once, nor twice, but thrice. I would call asking if they have a title, they first make me spell it for them 3 times, then they repeat it to me (Correctly) three time, and then spend a minute looking up the title on the computer just for them to say "Nope, we don't have it". Later, maybe a day or two I go there for another reason and I just happen to see that title they said they did NOT have right there on the shelf in plain view. I ask them how this happened and they call me a lier.

I would very much like to have nothing to do with either store, but the so far very good blockbuster online keeps forcing me back there. And no, not all the employees are bad, they just are never there when you need them. If you want a good rental store go to 49er Video, cheaper and better selection. (At least for the stuff I am interested in).

Edit: As of now, (May 30th 2008) I take my praise for blockbuster online back, they just turned my perfectly organized queue into chaos and randomly removed 48 titles. —HVS


2009-01-05 21:14:52   redbox movies. save money —SprawlNBrawl


2009-01-05 21:40:30   While I'm glad that this store is here, I'm not so thrilled at their selection. It's just very small, and their selection of many genres is practically nonexistent. I suppose it's better than nothing, but those who want a good selection might be much happier using Netflix. Also, I found that the rental prices at this store were significantly higher than other stores that I've rented from over the past several years, although I should note that those stores were not Blockbusters, so I don't know if their prices are in line with typical Blockbuster prices. —IDoNotExist


2009-07-24 11:08:07   The downtown location's selection isn't amazing- a lot of the time I can't find the older movies I want, but hey, I guess that's expected. I don't like the new layout either...it doesn't make for easy scanning both because of space issues and because movies are always out of order! But I do like the employees there- they may not always be chipper, but a lot of the time they chat it up with you and they always say "have a great night" or a similar variant of that. —Kiran


2009-10-22 01:09:04   I worked at the downtown location a few years back. All ya'll customers need to realize some things before you start ragging on us employees. First of all, the pay sucks, and none of us ever got a raise. Instead they kept hiring kids and each of us got less hours to work. My store manager was a total bitch and took out all her problems on us. On the other hand my assist. manager was the coolest person EVER!(Rock on Jose!) Secondly, the computer system is the WORST system I have ever used period. The computers are huge, bulky, OLD as dirt, all the wiring is completely screwed up, and we have to input everything by key commands. To put this into perceptive, I had touch screen computers when I worked at Round Table Pizza! COME ON! I remember for like a week straight our systems were down because damn roof rats chewed through all the wiring. I sat at that damn store until 3am once because of this. Thirdly, some of you customers can seriously be the worst. You think we enjoy our job? You think we enjoy having to reorganize those damn shelves every 5 min. cuz you guys can't take the 2 seconds to put the movie back in the right damn spot?? You think we enjoy having people scream at us over the phone and the counters about how they don't wanna pay the $1 overdue fine cuz they couldn't handle the responsibility of renewing or returning the movie on time?? You think we enjoy customers talking to us like we are 5 year olds because we can't find "Sahib Bibi aur ghulam" because we have NO idea how to even spell that and the customer can't help either? JEEZE. People, be a little bit nicer to minimum wage employees yea!? USUALLY, we are trying our best to just work our 6-8 hour shifts and get the hell home and study for that physics exam the next morning too. And for pete's sake, its just a movie! —allwalksoflife87


2010-10-10 01:39:46   It feels like the video games are never updated. I've gone into this Blockbuster so many times, just to see the same old video games. Sometimes they do have a newer game, but they only keep like 3 copies so you'll never get to rent it until it gets really old. —ThUn


2010-10-22 18:42:31   Steer clear of the computer they have for customers unless you want your credit card info stolen. I used it to sign up for a free 2-week Blockbuster Online trial which requires you to list your credit card info. A few days later my bank informed me that fraudulent charges were going on my credit card. The card I used was a Visa CheckCard which I normally only use as a Debit card so I am 100% positive that the Blockbuster computer was the culprit. The computer in question is running an older version of Internet Explorer and Windows XP (probably without malware protection). I was weary of inputting my data into this computer in the first place but the lure of free movies overrode my better judgement. This is a warning to others so that you can aviod the trouble of having your credit card info stolen. —GabeLarke


2011-03-05 08:49:55   The claim that blockbuster is one of the most expensive stores was something I believed for a while, but recently all of their blu-rays were 2.99 which was way cheaper than 49er and had significantly more selection than redbox. —RohiniJasavala


2010-03-30 08:11:00   Previously viewed DVDs are now 3.99!!! which is a pretty good deal on the new releases and old classics! —DeeO


2011-04-20 00:07:42   Be warned: When I visited to buy some DVDs during their liquidation sale, the workers invited me to sign up for a free one-month trial of the Blockbuster mailing service. They specifically told me I would receive a reminder email to cancel my account when the free trial was over. Well, that email never came and although I suspended my account the day of the new billing period, they billed my credit card anyway. I called Blockbuster for a refund and it seems it will be straightened out (am still waiting for refund to show up on my credit card account), but I shouldn't have had to call them in the first place. So if any of you signed up for the free trial as well, don't forget to cancel it because Blockbuster sure won't remind you as they promised. —MeggoWaffle


2014-12-09 00:02:14   Don't miss Blockbuster in the least. This one is a good example of how they could ruin a store- the building was formerly a bank, then an independent video store called Light Wave Video moved in. They had some unique movie-related paintings near the ceiling, and the bank vault was kept intact and called "The Vault", where the horror and cult movies were kept. Blockbuster later bought the store and made the inside generic as all its other locations, and of course got rid of the porn and NC-17 rated movies since it was against their policy to carry those. —AlanSmithee

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