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Blockbuster Inc. (NYSE: BBI) is the largest chain of DVD and video game rental stores in the world. It is headquartered at Renaissance Tower in downtown Dallas, Texas.
Blockbuster opened its first store in Dallas, Texas on October 19, 1985. The founder of the company was David Cook. In 1994 the company became a part of Viacom Inc. at a price of $8.4 billion.Blockbuster separated from Viacom in 2004 and launched Game Pass nationwide. Online DVD subscription was introduced on Blockbuster.com (aka Blockbuster Online).
Blockbuster has many locations in over thirty countries, including the United States, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Uruguay, Ireland, Panama, Puerto Rico, UK, New Zealand, Israel, Chile, Taiwan, Italy, Denmark, Venezuela, and Colombia.
Blockbuster states that it currently has 5,192 stores across the United States. International stores (operating under Blockbuster and other brands) totaled 3,291
It has been claimed that there are more than 43 million U.S. households with Blockbuster memberships.
In the UK, Blockbuster has been providing a version of online rentals since October 2002 with its "Pay Per Rent" service. This is more like a postal version of store rentals than the traditional online DVD rental subscription model.
The first Blockbuster store in the UK opened in March 1989 (Walworth Road, London) and the UK is now the largest Blockbuster business outside the US, with around 700 stores and about 4.2 million member accounts.
To this end, in September 2002, Blockbuster UK introduced its online DVD rental service. This service has grown and now allows customers to have access to almost every DVD available in the UK.
Blockbuster.co.uk sends out more discs per customer, and has the fastest turnaround times of any online DVD rental service in the UK*. In March 2006, Web User magazine awarded Blockbuster.co.uk the Gold Standard Award for its Unlimited DVD Rental Service - stating that Blockbuster.co.uk had - "An Outstanding Online Service. Reliable, Fast and a Clear Winner!"