'I want to bring Blockbuster back': B.C. teen creates free movie lending library
Tucked away on a residential street in Langley, there's a blue cabinet filled with VHS tapes and DVDs bearing the once-familiar logo of Blockbuster video.
"It's a passion project," said Walnut Grover Secondary student Matthew Reed who created the free lending library for his Grade 12 capstone project.
"Pick a movie, leave a movie, take as many movies as you like, leave as many movies as you like."
He designed and built the 'Free Blockbuster' because he says renting movies and video games with his family is one of his fondest childhood memories. Unlike the now obsolete r stores, there are no late fees or penalties for failing to rewind – but there are membership cards available for anyone who wants to take one.
"He delved right in," said Michelle Watson, Reed's mother. "Every weekend he'd ask 'When can we paint? When can we get supplies?"
After doing a little research, he learned he wasn't alone, and is part of a movement growing across North America. A website that maps the free movie exchange boxes says Reed's is the first in B.C.
In just a few weeks, Reed says he's had hundreds of customers and has received boxes of donations from complete strangers.
"Everyone loves it," said Reed.
Neighbours told CTV news they liked the novelty and nostalgia of being able to take a stroll and select a movie.
"I think this is fantastic," said Amelia Rousseau. "A real interesting and unique way to bring the community together."
They also said they appreciated the effort to give the used movies a second life.
"I think it's a neat idea to make sure things are re-used," said another neighbour.
Dog-treat libraries and small food pantries have also popped up around the Lower Mainland recently, modelled on the concept of the popular little free book libraries.
The 17-year-old says he hopes to inspire others to keep the movement alive.
"I want to bring Blockbuster back!" Reed told CTV News.
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