Skip to main content

Take a movie, leave a movie: Minnesota's newest 'Free Blockbuster' opens in Minneapolis

The box is open to everyone and the concept is simple: Take a movie, leave a movie.
Heroic Goods and Games - Free Blockbuster 1

Most people are familiar with the Little Free Library concept at this point. Community members can either leave or take a book from one of the (often delightfully decorated) kiosks set up by participants along their yard or sidewalk.

Replace books with DVDs, VHS tapes and even LaserDiscs and you've got the gist of Free Blockbuster — the latest of which opened in Minneapolis last week.

Paul Zenisek held a ribbon-cutting and unveiling on Aug. 25 for his Free Blockbuster, stationed outside his store Heroic Goods & Games in Minneapolis (3458 Minnehaha Ave.).About 25 people showed up, and Zenisek called it "super fun.".

"The first movie borrowed from the kiosk was The Professional, on LaserDisc!" he added.

Heroic Goods and Games - Free Blockbuster 2

The idea, Zenisek said, was not his. Free Blockbuster is a nationwide effort, with organizers saying the mission is to "combat the myth of scarcity by providing free entertainment to as many people as possible."

Zenisek's Free Blockbuster is the third in Minnesota, according to the online directory. The first opened in July in St. Louis Park, and was started by a friend of Zenisek's.

"I loved the concept so much, that then I decided to buy one as well," he said of his decision to put one outside Heroic Goods & Games. 

The other Free Blockbuster in Minnesota is in Burnsville, and opened in mid-August.

Zenisek's Free Blockbuster box fits 20-30 titles, depending on whether they're DVDs or VHS tapes (or something more obscure). While Heroic buys and sells movies as part of its business, Zenisek said the Free Blockbuster is separate. It isn't tied to store hours, and people don't need to check with the shop before taking or leaving a film.

"The box is meant to be there for anyone to use at any time, and I’ll maintain it, and add things if it gets low," he said. 

That hasn't been an issue so far. 

Heroic Goods and Games - Free Blockbuster 3

Zenisek said turnover has been "great," with movies are taken or dropped off every single day. Someone even returned a DVD they'd borrowed, The Neverending Story. And he's not worried about vandalism, overstuffing or abuse of the box.

"I’ve had zero issues so far, and don’t expect too many to arise — the direct community that lives in walking distance from the store has already been the most receptive about having it here," he said. "Lake and Minnehaha is awesome, so hopefully this is one more small addition that makes it even more awesome."

You can read more about Free Blockbuster and find a map of U.S. locations here.

Next Up

ABC ramps-Nov2020-039-small

Commuter alert: Parking in Minneapolis just got cheaper!

FlexPass offers flexible parking downtown at Ramp A

Sars-CoV-2

Omicron subvariants BA.4.6, BA.2.75.2 drawing attention in MN

Health officials in Minnesota are paying special attention to BA.4.6.

Ambulance Hennepin Healthcare

Man dies after shooting in south Minneapolis

The shooting was reported at 9:20 a.m.

Screen Shot 2022-09-22 at 12.48.13 PM

Texas company buys Roseville's Har Mar Mall for $50 million

The mall is home to a Cub Foods and a Burlington, among other stores.

DPS John Harrington

Increased state police presence in Twin Cities to stay till year's end

Topics included HEAT patrols, violent crime, fentanyl and street racing.

image

Vegan East sign goes up at former QC Pizza spot in Minneapolis

Vegan baked goods appear to be on the horizon in the Southside.

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for the week ending Tuesday, Sept. 20

The amount of COVID detected in wastewater jumped, as did hospitalizations.

Screen Shot 2022-09-22 at 11.11.14 AM

Police: Armed trio broke into Brooklyn Park apartment

The trio asked a resident if a family member was home.

image

Marx Fusion Bistro closes after 20 years in downtown Stillwater

One of the most popular dining spots in Stillwater has ended its run.

ActivePoliceSceneRochesterSchool

Rochester mayor 'beyond angry' over school swatting calls across MN

The calls affected 16 school districts in Minnesota on Wednesday.

Related

BlockbusterDispenser

Robbinsdale the latest metro city to get a Free Blockbuster movie library

A movie sharing and lending box is available for the community outside of a vinyl store.

57382370_426255374856764_8656696246548824064_n

Meet the micro-cinema: 'Gray Duck Theater' opens in Rochester

The new concept combines a coffeehouse and a movie theater.

Colin Brown - Sun Country airplane - Flickr

Sun Country is going full-on MN with new menu, movie options

Passengers can watch "The Mighty Ducks" while sipping on a Fulton IPA.

Major League Quidditch - Chaser Minneapolis by Miguel Esparza

Minneapolis' Major League Quidditch team opens season this weekend

The sport is adapted from the fictional athletic event in "Harry Potter."

Facebook - Riverview Theater

Minneapolis' beloved Riverview Theater announces reopening date

Its first return showing will be "A Quiet Place 2" on May 28.

Guess the best-reviewed TV, movies, music and video games of 2016

We were shocked – shocked! – to not see the Assassin's Creed movie in the top five.

From Wilson to Mogadishu, here's how movies get filmed in MN

A chat with Lucinda Winter, one of the people that helps bring film shoots to Minnesota. Full audio interview inside.

FLickr - YMCA minneapolis

YMCA offering free membership to Twin Cities teens

That means free access to YMCA gyms, pool areas, classes and more.