Netflix Prepares to Send Its Final Red Envelope
In a nondescript office park minutes from Disneyland sits a nondescript warehouse. Inside this nameless, faceless building, an era is ending.
The building is a Netflix DVD distribution plant. Once a bustling ecosystem that processed 1.2 million DVDs a week, employed 50 people and generated millions of dollars in revenue, it now has just six employees left to sift through the metallic discs. And even that will cease on Friday, when Netflix officially shuts the door on its origin story and stops mailing out its trademark red envelopes.
“It’s sad when you get to the end, because it’s been a big part of all of our lives for so long,” Hank Breeggemann, the general manager of Netflix’s DVD division, said in an interview. “But everything runs its cycle. We had a great 25-year run and changed the entertainment industry, the way people viewed movies at home.”
When Netflix began mailing DVDs in 1998 — the first movie shipped was “Beetlejuice” — no one in Hollywood expected the company to eventually upend the entire entertainment industry. It started as a brainstorm…