Parents Build A Blockbuster For Their Autistic Son After Local One Closed Down

The Zuniga Family Built A Blockbuster

Parents will do anything for their children. As the father of two, I can tell you that I'd make any effort to ensure my kids' happiness, though at the moment, the parents who built a makeshift Blockbuster Video in their home to please their autistic child sit atop the list of World's Greatest Parents. Read about their accomplishments.

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Twitter user Javier Zuniga shared these photos on social media, explaining that his folks made a mini version of the defunct big-box rental retailer because their son, who has autism, was sad that his neighborhood Blockbuster Video had closed. CNN has additional information, reporting that the 20-year-old man, Hector Zuniga, lives in Sharyland, Texas and became upset when his local Blockbuster closed, mainly because he needed the routine of visiting the store -- something he did twice a week. I'm sure the news of the Blockbuster closing was equally devastating to Hector and Javier's parents, but good on them, they decided to get proactive and do something about it, creating their own makeshift "store" for their son.

As Javier told CNN:

He has been going to Blockbuster since he was 13 years old. He would go rent Veggie Tales, Barney, Elmo, Rugrats and Baby Einstein (videos). He always rents the same ones when we go back; sometimes he'll even get two of the same ones.

And now those titles stock the shelves of his own personal Blockbuster Video. Excuse me while I find the nearest box of tissues.

Blockbuster Video started its decline in 2010, when competition from the likes of Netflix and Redbox forced the company to file for bankruptcy protection in 2010. Stores started closing en masse after that, with the last official count of existing Blockbuster Video stores -- which took place in 2014 -- revealing there to be approximately 50 left on the planet. One of them is in Alaska. We wrote about it the other day.

This is such a beautiful story of parental love, but it also speaks to the emotional roller coaster we all suffer when something we have gotten used to goes away. And in modern society, this happens more frequently than we care to embrace. It could be a restaurant or bar, or a technological device that you grew accustomed to. Or it might have been that neighborhood big-box Blockbuster where the clerks knew your name and what movies you liked, and could make personal recommendations. I'm thrilled to hear that the Zuniga family figured out a short term fix for their autistic son's expiring Blockbuster. Because I know I still miss the Blockbuster that I used to frequent. I even carried my membership card around in my wallet for a full year before I tossed it out. Now that I know this story, I should have collected a few titles and built my own. Brilliant solution.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.