MISSION, Texas – When one door closed, another opened for Hector Andres Zuniga, a 20-year-old man with autism from Mission who had been visiting his local Blockbuster since his early teens.
His family gave him the surprise of a lifetime when they set up his very own “in-house” Blockbuster after learning their local store would close soon.
Hector Andres Zuniga’s brother, Javier Zuniga, told KSAT 12 News that their parents came up with the idea for a mini-replica of the store once the Blockbuster started selling off its inventory to prepare for the closure.
“They needed to act fast and bought a lot of his favorite movies. They bought a shelf from Blockbuster and (made) a Blockbuster at home,” Javier Zuniga said about his parents’ idea.
Javier Zuniga said his brother was joyous about seeing his new mini-store.
“He was happy. And he was clapping and was laughing with joy,” Javier Zuniga said.
Hector Andres Zuniga is nonverbal and uses hand gestures to communicate with his family.
Javier Zuniga said his brother loves the mini-store and goes into the room about four times a day sometimes. But the old store is something that will hold a place in his brother’s heart.
“It was a special store because he loved going to Blockbuster, rent out his favorite movies and buying a snack to watch it with,” he said.
Javier Zuniga said he hopes the national attention his brother’s story has gotten will encourage people to seek more information about autism.
There are only a few remaining Blockbusters in the U.S. The store the Zunigas frequented closed down this week.
MY AUTISTIC BROTHER WAS SAD THAT BLOCK BUSTER WAS CLOSING DOWN SO MY PARENTS MADE A MINI ONE AT HOME FOR HIM! 😭❤️ pic.twitter.com/B4oo74NBvi— j✨ (@jxviizun) April 23, 2017