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This Day in Pop Culture for November 11

Blcokbuster Video

2013: Blockbuster Video Rents its Last Rental

The very first Blockbuster video store opened on October 1985 in Dallas, Texas by David Cook. The chain grew quickly and was soon was buying out smaller chains. It became a multi-billion dollar company by the 1990’s. It had a appeared that nothing could stop the giant. In 2000, they turned down an offer to purchase Netflix which may have been their undoing. In 2010 Blockbuster became the only national video rental chain left in operation. Also that same year, the company’s public accounting firm raised doubts that Blockbuster could continue operating due to its large debt. Blockbuster struggled the next three years trying out different ways to make money, but this story was not destined for a happy ending. By January of 2014, all 300 remaining corporate-owned stores in the U.S. closed. In January of 2018, there were nine franchise-owned stores in existence. Today, the last breathing Blockbuster store remains open in Bend, Oregon. For now.

Too Close for Comfort

1980: ‘Too Close for Comfort’ Airs

Based on British series, Keep It in the Family, Too Close for Comfort began airing on ABC on this day in 1980. Due to the writer’s strike of that year, the show (like many others) premiered much later than usual. The sitcom featured a married couple and their two adult daughters all living under the same roof in San Francisco, CA. The father, Henry, was played by Ted Knight who worked as a cartoonist. His wife, Muriel (Nancy Dussault) was a photographer and former singer. Their daughters Jackie (Deborah Van Valkenburgh) worked at a bank and Sara (Lydia Cornell) was still attending college. Speaking of which, Knight would often wear sweatshirts featuring the logos of different colleges around the country. This was by the actor’s choice who never attended college. The comedy also featured a number of secondary characters including Monroe Ficus (Jim J. Bullock) who was supposed to be one-time guest and Muriel’s mother, Iris (Audrey Meadows). The show was a hit for its first two years airing on Tuesday nights before moving it to Thursdays where if failed in the ratings. The show was cancelled by ABC but continued to run three more seasons for first-run syndication. The show ended its run halfway through the season after Knight passed away dying from colon cancer in 1987.

2005: Thinking Inside the Box

Since 1998, dozens of toys have been inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame, but on this day in 2005, the most unusual and yet common toy was inducted. In addition to the Jack-in-the-Box and the Candy Land game, it was the simple cardboard box that stunned. “With nothing more than a little imagination, those boxes can be transformed into forts or houses, spaceships or submarines, castles or caves. Inside a big cardboard box, a child is transported to a world of his or her own, one where anything is possible.”

Movies Released

  • Almost Christmas (2016)
  • Arrival (2016)
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)
  • Dreamland (2016)
  • Ernest Saves Christmas (1988)
  • Hillbilly Elegy (2020)
  • Immortals (2011)
  • Interview with a Vampire (1994)
  • Jack and Jill (2011)
  • The Santa Claus (1994)
  • Zathura (2005)

TV Series Debuts

  • Blues Clues and You (2019)
  • Paris in Love (2019)

Famous Birthdays

  • 1922: Kurt Vonnegut (novelist)
  • 1925: Jonathan Winters (comedian)
  • 1951: Marc Summers (TV host)
  • 1960: Stanley Tucci (actor)
  • 1962: Demi Moore (actress)
  • 1964: Calista Flockhart (actress)
  • 1971: David DeLuise (actor)
  • 1974: Leonardo DiCaprio (actor)
  • 1989: Adam Rippon (Olympic ice skater)

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Jeffrey Totey View All

I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.

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