'Blockbuster Museum' idea in Owen Sound, Ont. going nowhere fast
OWEN SOUND, ONT. -- The idea of turning a vacant Blockbuster video store in Owen Sound into a museum is going nowhere, fast.
“The municipality currently does not have a heritage register. And, we have not received any sort of application or request for that building to be designated a heritage building. Without a formal application being made, nothing is going to happen,” says Georgian Bluffs Interim CAO Kassandra Rocca.
Four months ago, Andrew Stuart, a Cambridge, Ont.-native, started an online petition in an attempt to preserve the vacant Blockbuster video store on Owen Sound’s Sunset Strip. He suggested turning it into a museum or heritage site.
The petition was started more as a nostalgic joke, but it’s recently taken off, reaching 2,600 signatures.
The store in Owen Sound closed in 2011, after Blockbuster declared bankruptcy. It’s sat vacant since, but has retained the outdoor signage, which has attracted nostalgia seekers from as far away as Toronto.
“I think it’s a great idea. At one point, there were two Blockbusters in town,” says Phil Davis.
Davis used to work at Owen Sound’s Blockbuster store, and has since opened his own video rental business in town, Philly D’s Olde Time Emporium.
“We’re still doing well. It’s certainly not what it was in the heyday, but we still have dedicated customers,” he says.
Davis says the idea of repurposing the shuttered Blockbuster into a nostalgic trip down memory lane interests him.
“I like the idea, honestly. I find with younger kids coming in, they seem to love the idea of coming into a store and picking out their movies, instead of just picking things out online,” he says.
Problem is, the museum petition is just a suggestion, with no concrete action to make it happen, as of yet, say municipal officials.
“We’re not even sure if the owner of the building is aware of the petition going around,” says Rocca.
You can check out the Owen Sound Blockbuster petition here.