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Alaska's remaining Blockbusters are closing, leaving only one store in the whole US

By midian182 · 6 replies
Jul 13, 2018
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  1. At the peak of its popularity in 2004, Blockbuster boasted around 84,300 employees around the world. There were over 9000 stores in total, including 4500 in the US. But the advent of broadband and downloading/streaming video services saw the chain go the way of the VHS cassette, floppy disk, and fax machine—though the latter is still popular with the UK’s National Health Service.

    The company filed for bankruptcy protection in 2010 and parent firm Dish Network started closing US stores in 2013. But Alaska’s extreme winters and expensive, often unreliable internet connections helped keep the doors open at some of the state’s Blockbusters. Their numbers eventually fell, from 13 in 2013 down to the current two, which are in Anchorage and Fairbanks. The owners told Deadline that while the stores are still profitable, the money they’re making is rapidly declining, and it wouldn’t make financial sense to renew the leases.

    The Alaska Blockbusters made national headlines earlier this year when John Oliver bought a number of movie items from Russell Crowe’s post-divorce auction, including a leather jockstrap from Cinderella Man and a vest from Les Miserables, and sent them to the stores. In return, the Gladiator actor used the money to open a koala chlamydia treatment ward named after the comedian. While this brought publicity and increased sales to the stores, it wasn’t enough to offset the planned lease increase.

    The outlets will close for rentals after Sunday night and will reopen on Tuesday through to August as they look to sell off their remaining inventory. The closures will leave the Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon, as the final one still operating in the US. Its general manager, Sandi Harding, says they have no plans to close down anytime soon.

    Permalink to story.

  2. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,865   +695

    I never liked the store and don't care that they closed
  3. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,499   +5,064

    That is my opinion as well.
  4. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,778   +2,591

    Its funny how articles like these never mention that DVD rentals, particularly via Redbox, are still going strong. Netflix still ships a fair number of discs, especially to rural areas. In the US about 20% of the population still has no access to broadband and that's unlikely to change any time soon. I'm sure that lone store in Oregon serves precisely such an area. There are a lot of industries that can no longer support stores with rent, payroll and all of that. Amazon has nearly killed the boutiques and that won't change even if the states start taxing them on deliveries. Brick-and-mortar cannot compete with mail order warehouse sweatshops.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
  5. Red Box is fairly popular in my area (major urban location with affordable gigabit), where once Blockbuster and Hollywood Video used to dominate. The problem with each of the latter has nothing to do with format and everything to do with their respective business models. Dealing with BB and HV was always a hassle. RB, Netflix, etc. are all streamlined and convenient.
    EClyde likes this.
  6. ShagnWagn

    ShagnWagn TS Guru Posts: 760   +593

    "a childhood favorite"

    Not mine. The only thing about Ballbuster video I liked was seeing the movie boxes and picking one out. Even as a child I knew getting a movie meant we were going to get bent over.
  7. mrjgriffin

    mrjgriffin TS Evangelist Posts: 349   +163

    If I had a choice between a store like blockbuster, hollywood video, family video etc or redbox I would bring the stores back. I don't get the redbox thing. its rediculous to me. for one, most of them are outside from what I've seen. so if its raining or snowing out thats an automatic no redbox for me. secondly a video store would have a better selection. you can also hold the movie/game box in hand and browse the pictures. it's just more interactive. thirdly. redboxes have no social interaction whatsoever unless your yelling at the dude in front of you because he can't decide between "sit on my face volume 69" or "jesus jumps for jerusalem." this world is already dealing with the smartphone epidemic and everyone becoming socially akward, introverted weirdos. so redbox basically doesn't need to exist. maybe a redbox is beneficial for you because "hey! they put a redbox over there and it's closer to my house than my video store!" other than that.........what's the reasoning for it? someone. please. tell me.
    EClyde, Digitalzone and Knot Schure like this.

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