ALLEGAN, Mich. (WOOD) — Movie buffs, listen up: There’s a new way for you to check out your favorite film or find a new favorite in Allegan.
The city is set to officially start up a Free Blockbuster box at the Regent Theatre. What used to be an old, rundown newspaper box has been turned into a refurbished free movie rental system with more than 60 DVDs and VHS tapes. Guests will be able to take a movie from the box in exchange for one that they currently own and make the swap.
The idea was to bring back the nostalgic feeling of walking into a Blockbuster video store and being able to find something to watch in a physical form.
“There’s nothing as exciting as me as a kid being able to walk down the aisle of a video store and, ‘I don’t know if this movie is good or this movie is good, I’m just basing it off the cover art,'” Chad Campbell, the director for the Allegan Free Blockbuster said. “That was really cool and I hope to recapture some of those moments for future generations.”
Some of the first titles in the box include “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” “Godzilla,” “The Sopranos” and “Game of Thrones.” Campbell and his friends stocked the Blockbuster with movies and TV shows from their own personal collections.
“We thought they’d be great things to launch with,” he said.
Campbell had to completely repair the box before it was ready to be used by the public. He approached Downtown Allegan Manager Parker Johnson, a fellow film buff, with the idea, and Johnson instantly loved it.
“I was thrilled,” Johnson said. “I hadn’t heard of the concept of a Free Blockbuster before but when Chad laid it out for me, kind of explained the similarities between this and a free library — take a book leave a book, take a movie leave a movie — I thought, ‘What a great addition to what we have going on at Regent Theatre already.’”
The box will be held at Regent Theatre. People can start swapping physical media starting Oct. 14 as part of the theater’s Shocktober event: Every Saturday of the month, horror movies will be shown on the big screen. The film being shown on Oct. 14 is appropriately named “V/H/S.”
The contents of the box will change as more and more people use it. Campbell said that you can get weekly updates of what’s been swapped in and out by checking their Instagram page, @freeblockbusterallegan.