18 Things That Used to Be Great But No Longer Exist

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By Jonathan Trent

Technological advancements and shifting consumer needs mean that many staples of everyday life that were once well-loved have disappeared. Here, we’ll take a look at 18 things that used to be great but no longer exist in our modern society.

Blockbuster Video Stores

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Remember those busy Friday nights in Blockbuster, picking out the latest movie and some overpriced popcorn for a family night in? Blockbuster was popular for its wide selection of movies and video games; however, the rise of streaming services has meant that it has vanished, except for the one remaining store in Bend, Oregon.

Toys R Us

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Toys R Us was the place to be for buying children’s toys. Many people experience a wave of nostalgia when they think about this retail giant, but as the BBC reminds us, all stores closed in 2018 as a result of financial difficulties and competition from online toy retailers. That’s a real shame!

Kodak Film

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Kodak revolutionized photography with its easy-to-use cameras and was once a force to be reckoned with in the industry. However, the rise of smartphones forced it to step away from the limelight, and these days, Kodak only exists in small circles of hipsters.

Sears Catalog

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Sears provided the ultimate mail-order catalog, bringing shopping to rural America. It offered everything from clothes to houses and became a staple in many U.S. households. However, its readership declined rapidly due to the evolution of modern online shopping trends, which was sad to see.

Borders Bookstores

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Borders bookstores once attracted U.S. book lovers from across the country with their extensive selection and comfortable reading areas. They hosted author signings, readings, and community events, but unfortunately, they were unable to compete with the rise of e-books and online retailers, and they’ve now disappeared.

Encyclopedia Britannica Print Editions

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Britannica explains that the Encyclopedia Britannica is the oldest English-language general encyclopedia, first published back in 1768. The print editions were renowned for their comprehensive and authoritative entries, but printing diminished in favor of digital-only formats. These days, we just Google everything!

Phone Booths

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The classic phone booth was once a common sight on street corners and in public spaces; they provided a crucial service for making calls away from home or work. However, once mobile phones became commercially available, phone booths were no longer required in many areas, and now, they’re a rarity.

Cassette Tapes

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Cassette tapes were a popular option for music lovers to create their own mixtapes and listen to albums. They were highly portable and known for being paired with the iconic Walkman. However, they were replaced by CDs, then MP3s, and, more recently, streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music.

MSN Messenger

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The Independent describes MSN Messenger as the teenage communications staple for millennials. It was a pioneer in instant messaging and a key part of early Internet culture, but unfortunately, it lost its user base when social media platforms and modern messaging apps emerged.


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Arcades were the number one form of entertainment for kids in the 1980s and 1990s; they not only provided the latest games but were also social hubs. However, arcades began to decline with the rise of modern gaming consoles and online multiplayer games, and now, they’re pretty much non-existent.


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During the demise of CDs, Napster began the advent of peer-to-peer file sharing, which ultimately transformed music consumption. It was famous for its diverse library of downloadable songs, but like Limewire, it was eventually shut down due to legal issues.

VHS Tapes

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VHS tapes were the standard for home video entertainment in the 1980s and 1990s, as they 

allowed people to record their favorite TV shows and watch rented movies. They met their demise when DVDs, Blu-rays, and digital formats started to become more popular, and we still miss them dearly. 

Floppy Disks

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Floppy disks were once the primary method of storing and transferring computer data, and early computers relied on them for their portability and ease of use. However, they were soon replaced by more efficient solutions like USB drives; even USB drives are now being replaced by cloud storage!

Drive-In Theaters

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Drive-in theaters were hugely popular in mid-20th-century America, offering a unique movie-watching experience from the comfort of your car. However, this trend soon declined with the rise of indoor cinemas and home entertainment systems. We think they’re due for a comeback!

Physical Music Stores

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With all of the streaming services available now, we don’t have any need to visit physical music stores anymore. Back in the day, though, physical stores were the only place to discover and buy the latest music. We’d always use their headphones, listening to new tunes until we were kicked out!


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According to Forbes, Woolworths was a staple in U.S. downtown shopping districts for over a century. It was well-known for its diverse range of affordable products and famous lunch counters, but sadly, the chain fell victim to the ever-evolving retail landscape and the huge increase in big-box stores.

Radio Shack

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Radio Shack was known for its wide range of electronics and DIY kits for technology lovers; hobbyists and professionals would visit the store to purchase components and get advice from staff, but these days, they prefer shopping at online retailers. It’s just not the same!

Milk Delivery Services

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Finally, there was nothing better than receiving a fresh glass bottle of milk straight to your door in the morning. It was a convenient way for families to get their milk, but it’s a rare sight nowadays. This is simply due to the availability of supermarkets and stores on every corner, rendering milk delivery services as needless.