Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to mourn the loss of a dear friend.

One who has kept us all company through lonely Saturday nights. Made us laugh, made us cry, and made us pay when we didn’t return their cassettes on time. I am, of course, talking about the death of Blockbuster Video.

It was announced this week that the US stores will gradually close, and should the few UK stores follow suit it will, for all intents and purposes, signal the end of ‘the video shop’. The news has proved polarising – most people didn’t notice/care.

Those who did were split between technophobes lambasting our relentless charge into the digital era like a Southern preacher declaring pop music the devil’s work; and the smug trendy crowd heralding its demise, as if the mere presence of something old fashioned offended them.

Me? I’m equally infuriating, landing somewhere in between both camps. Of course services like Netflix, Now TV and co make more sense than Blockbuster, and being more of a buy-to-own guy it’s a long time since I set foot in a rental shop.

However, I do miss perusing aisle upon aisle of VHS tapes, with snippets of new releases playing on a dusty TV in the corner. Somehow having less choice made it more special. My dad would take my sister and I as young’uns to rent a video to watch that weekend.

We alternated weeks as to who picked what to watch, and being that we were at that age where movies were watched over and over that would mean either Pound Puppies The Movie (for my sister, although I enjoyed the songs) or Tim Burton’s Batman (yes, it was too old for me; no, it didn’t traumatise me in any way).

Those days are gone, but this isn’t a eulogy – technology is a wonderful thing, I currently have subscriptions to two streaming services (albeit 30 day free trials). I’m also a DVD collector, however, so the idea of this digital utopia where everything we watch or hear is up in a cloud (or THE cloud, I don’t know – it’s rather technical) is unnerving.

I like purchasing an item, something I can hold, be it given over the counter or arriving in the post. I prefer the process of taking something off of the shelf, carefully placing it in the Blu Ray player, and wading through the many mandatory ads. It doesn’t make sense, but since when did life ever have to make sense? If Kim Kardashian can have a £30,000 handbag, can I still have my £25 steel book Blu Ray?

So where do we go forward? I’d like to think that for one-time rental watching, we turn to our streaming websites, and to own we get a nice shiny disc (most of which now have a digital copy on as well).

I could be wrong, I could be right, but as long as people are still discovering and enjoying movies, I guess it doesn’t matter how they do it.