General Manager, Mel Carr. Blockbuster Video at Westridge Shopping Centre will close in mid January. December 2018
General Manager, Mel Carr. Blockbuster Video at Westridge Shopping Centre will close in mid January. December 2018 Bev Lacey

Blockbuster manager 'bittersweet' on store's closure

MELISSA Carr found her dream job working in video stores straight out of high school, but that dream is about to come to an end.

The long-time manager of the Westridge Blockbuster store will be sad to say good-bye, after the owner revealed he was shutting the doors early next year.

The Kearneys Spring outlet is not only the last video store to close in Toowoomba, but also the last Blockbuster on the east coast of Australia.

Ms Carr has worked at Westridge for more than 17 years, giving advice and swapping stories with thousands of customers.

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"I was lucky to find a job that I loved and an employer (Kirk Penfold) who enjoyed the business as much as I did," she said.

"He worked very hard for staff and the customers as well.

"I initially started (in video stores) in December 1998, straight out of school.

"I was a film buff during school, and I used to rent at the video store."

Ms Carr said flicking through a streaming service could not compare to the joy of walking through the aisles of a video store.

"I feel like it's an experience - roaming the store and talking to a staff member who could offer a suggestion and share some of your favourites. You can't get that from Netflix," she said.

"We always knew it was going to have to happen - all video stores will be a thing of the past.

"It was an exciting job and a lot of the staff have become part of the Blockbuster family. It's definitely bitter sweet."

The video store will make way for an Integrated Living Australia wellness centre, which is the health service provider's first move into the Toowoomba market.

It will feature a range of services, including exercise and chair yoga classes, remedial massage, occupational therapy and allied health treatments.

In the meantime, Blockbuster has stopped renting and is now trying to move its leftover stock in a six-week closing sale.



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