Blockbuster Entertainment Company began as Blockbuster Video in Dallas, Texas when it opened its first store on October 19, 1985. The founder of the company was a 29-year-old named David P. Cook.
Cook grew the business and brought it public before handing the reins to CEO, Wayne Huizenga who quickly grew it into a multi-billion dollar corporation.
Blockbuster was later sold to Viacom in 1994, at a price of $8.4 billion. During the 1990s Blockbuster bought out their major UK rival Ritz Video and changed the name of all the stores to their own, which made them the number-one video rental store in the country by a wide margin.
In 1996, the Blockbuster Entertainment Corporation as it was then known, was renamed Blockbuster, Inc. and the retail stores, Blockbuster. In 1999, Viacom spun off Blockbuster as a separate company with the issuance of a new IPO.