Blockbuster-themed movie ‘library’ gives California neighbors a dose of nostalgia

by NEW YORK DIGITAL NEWS



A California woman is reminding her neighbors of fond memories associated with Blockbuster Video through a “Free Blockbuster” movie exchange.

It’s a spin on a “Little Free Library” – a non-profit book-sharing initiative where people donate and borrow books.

“Free Blockbuster” is the same idea, but the box is filled with films and is painted in Blockbuster’s classic colors — blue and yellow.

It was Alyssa Kollgaard, a video game developer in Los Angeles, who wanted to share her love for films through a creative and sentimental project.

Kollgaard has had a free food pantry outside her home for the past two years and realized she had an extra box that could be used as a Blockbuster box, she told Fox News Digital.

Her husband, Christian Kollgaard, is a professional fabricator for film and TV, so he helped her build the perfect blue and yellow movie library.

A Los Angeles resident is sharing her love for films with her neighbors and disguising it as a Blockbuster video store.

Alyssa Kollgaard / Facebook

The “Free Blockbuster” boxes are filled with DVDs.

Kollgaard said she can also “rent out” VHS tapes, but those cannot remain in the box since they’d melt in the California heat.

Kollgaard has an extensive movie collection that she grew over the past 10 years. She and her husband even run a movie festival called “Wasteland Weekend,” she said.

Alyssa Kollgaard built a “Free Blockbuster” in her neighborhood and her neighbors are already borrowing some classics.

Alyssa Kollgaard / Facebook

Kollgaard pointed out how the increase in streaming platforms contributed to the death of the DVD and people missing an “in-person experience of browsing” movies to borrow.

“There is definitely a lot of nostalgia around the Blockbuster and I think, visually, the branding is really strong,” Kollgaard said.

Blockbuster Video was an American movie rental chain that was founded in 1985. There were about 9,000 stores operating across the country, but as mail-in DVDs and streaming soared in popularity, physical movie rentals became obsolete and Blockbuster ceased operations in 2014.

The “Free Blockbuster” exchange box is filled with movies from Kollgaard’s personal collection that she has grown over a decade. @discordiadystopia / Tiktok

There is one surviving Blockbuster located in Bend, Oregon. The store is privately owned.

Kollgaard said some people can find streaming to be overwhelming, and her Blockbuster box is helping them.

“The reception has been really strong because it replicates that experience of going to a store and browsing and checking something out and going home and watching it and then coming back and doing it again and seeing what’s new,” she explained.

Alyssa Kollgaard’s husband is a professional fabricator for film and TV, so he helped her with decorating the movie library. Alyssa Kollgaard / Facebook

Kollgaard has filled her “Free Blockbuster” with some science fiction films and slightly more avant-garde movies with a cult following — including “The Lord of the Rings” and “Reefer Madness.”

Her neighbors can “rent” and return their movie choices or even exchange a movie to help the collection grow.

“Somebody took Kill Bill 2 and left Kill Bill 1 because it wasn’t a part of my collection,” Kollgaard said.

Kollgaard said she has found a real sense of community through this new hobby.

“A few people say they’ve been moved to tears, which I think is pretty amazing that we all have this shared memory of something,” she said.

“It’s just fun to get to know who is in my neighborhood based on what movies they rent and what movies they leave.”



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