Blockbuster down to one US store after Alaska closures

From Monday, only one Blockbuster location will remain open in the US.

Joe Raedle / Techhnews

The last two Blockbuster stores in Alaska wll close on Monday, leaving only one location still operating in the US.

The video rental company announced the closures of its College and Debarr locations on its Facebook page, and said it’ll re-open on Tuesday to sell off its inventory until the end of August.

“It is sad to say goodbye to our dedicated customers. We have thought of you as family for the past 28 years, ” wrote district manager Kelli Vey and general manager Kevin Daymude.

“We hope to see you at our stores during the closing, even if it’s just to say ‘Hello.’ What a great time to build your media library and share some Blockbuster memories with us.”

The closures leave the Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon, as the company’s sole location in the country.

“It might end up being a little chaotic for a couple of weeks,” the Bend store’s general manager Sandi Harding told the Associated Press.

“We have no plans on closing anytime soon,” she added.

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In April, Last Week Tonight host John Oliver fought to keep the Alaska stores open by donating props from Russell Crowe movies to them. The items included a jockstrap from Cinderella Man, a hood from Robin Hood and a vest from Les Miserables.

At the time, Daymude told Hollywood Reporter that they were “very honored to showcase that collection.”

It’s unclear if the Crowe memorabilia will be included in the inventory sale and Blockbuster Alaska didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

It was believed the Alaska stores might survive due to the high cost of internet in the state, which forced many residents continue using physical media instead of streaming, the Anchorage Daily News noted in 2017.

In 2004, Blockbuster was at its peak with 60,000 employees and 9,000 stores worldwide, according to the International Business Times. At the time, its market value was $5 billion and revenues were $5.9 billion.

Its fortunes changed in 2010, when it filed for bankruptcy. Three years later, parent company Dish announced plans shut down all remaining company-owned Blockbuster stores in the US by January 2014 due to increased competition from streaming services, but some locations held out as franchises.

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