The closure of the two stores in Alaska will leave just one U.S. Blockbuster store left - located in Bend, Oregon.
Blockbuster Video, the former Goliath in the home-video rental industry, is officially closing two of its remaining three stores in existence.
Both stores will close their doors on Monday with plans to reopen for an inventory sale starting at noon Tuesday that will run through July and August, according to a statement on the Blockbuster official Facebook page. The Hollywood Reporter spoke with Kevin Daymude, Blockbuster Alaska general manager who said lease increases ultimately led to the demise of these final two stores: one in Anchorage and one in Fairbanks. "We have thought of you as family for the past 28 years".
"We were very up front with them, and they said, 'That's OK, we want you to have it anyway, ' " he said.
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Although the store manager had, at the time, hoped the publicity stunt would lead to a spike in business, the curiosity proved not to be enough. She said she has been working at Blockbuster for 14 years and seen her share of heartache as stores closed. The Wasilla, North Pole and Soldotna stores closed this year, as did another Anchorage location near the intersection of Old Seward Highway and Huffman Road. Now, the lone remaining Blockbuster store is in OR, according to the Anchorage Daily News. Blockbuster declared bankruptcy in 2010 and was bought a year later by Dish Network. In May, John Oliver and HBO even donated a freakish assortment of Russell Crowe paraphernalia to one of the Anchorage stores that announced plans to close on Thursday.
"It's always kind of a kick in the trousers every time we close a store", said Payne. While some doubt that location will close anytime soon given that it seems to still attract a crowd, it's worth noting that the owners of the Alaska locations have stated that the stores were still considered to be profitable.
I don't have much experience with Blockbuster, but I used to work at Hollywood Video, and while it did drive me nuts at times, it was for the most part fun to work at a movie store.