Blockbuster-Inspired Speakeasy Popping Up in Big Cities Around the Country

NEW YORK - MAY 25: A man looks at DVD's in a store May 25, 2005 in New York City. According to a report issued this week by the Book Industry Study Group, the U.S. publishing industry continues to put out more books than the public is buying. As more people made a shift toward home video, DVD, Internet and cable, the number of books sold dropped by nearly 44 million between 2003 and 2004, even as the annual number of books published approaches 175,000
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Every Friday and Saturday night in the ’80s, ’90s, and even early 2000s, the video rental store was the place to be. If you were lucky enough, you could snag a copy of the newest release, some free popcorn, and a treat to take back home to enjoy your evening. Blockbuster and other video rental chains were the best places to find new entertainment. These days, streaming services have taken over and just one Blockbuster remains standing. If you are nostalgic for those days, a pop-up speakeasy is here to ease the pain.

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 15: General view of the exterior of the Blockbuster store hosting a press conference announcing The Weinstein Company's deal with Blockbuster Inc. for exclusive rights to rent theatrical movies and direct-to-video titles on November 15, 2006 in New York City, New York

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Bucket Listers, the company that has brought nostalgic pop-ups inspired by shows such as The Golden Girls and Saved by the Bell, is now offering Back 2 The Video Store in select cities including Chicago and San Diego. The event only costs around $21 (ticket includes one drink, other food and drinks sold separately) and greets you with old movie posters, arcade games, and a bedroom that has been standing still since the ’90s.


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Fun cocktails are offered based on classic films including The Jaws, made with tequila and blue curacao served in a fishbowl with gummy sharks. The food menu theming is similar featuring offerings such as Mighty Ducks Mozz Sticks. Bonus for my non-drinking friends, the event listing says that most of the cocktails can be made as a mocktail so you don’t miss out on the fun if you don’t imbibe.

In addition to the eccentric vibe, throwback movies are also shown each night of the event including Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Clueless. If you’re interested in attending the event, visit Bucket Listers to select your city and search for Back 2 The Video Store events. They are also hosting Barbie-themed pop-ups right now, capitalizing on the Barbie trend of the summer. Could you see yourself visiting this event?

1980s Top Summer Blockbusters
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1980s Top Summer Blockbusters

July 2019

Celebrate the biggest summer movies of the ’80s, when moviegoing morphed from mere entertainment to blockbuster events.

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