Blockbuster’s last stores in Alaska closing, leaving 1 store in US

Blockbuster announced in 2013, that it would be closing down its stores; the final location left standing is located in Bend, Oregon.

It temporarily worked, according to Kevin Daymude, general manager of Blockbuster Alaska.

He said residents were sad when they heard the news, with many people reminiscing about Blockbuster - a once familiar sight on both sides of the Atlantic. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2010 and was bought out by Dish Network in 2011.

"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver wanted to help out, so in May, he sent the second Anchorage store some Russell Crowe movie memorabilia, including a leather jockstrap he wore in the 2005 film "Cinderella Man".

Soon, there will only be one lonely Blockbuster Video left in America. There were many of these stores, but one of the most profitable and famous was Blockbuster Video.

Alan Payne, who owns the two Alaska stores through a Blockbuster licensee called Border Entertainment, said he and his team realized nine months ago it wouldn't make any sense to renew the leases when they're up in August. When Blockbuster shut down, Payne said he decided keep his doors open.

At the peak of its success, the once-iconic video rental chain had more than 9,000 stores and employed more than 84,000 people worldwide, Deadline reported.

"We regret to inform our customers that Blockbuster Video will be closing both the College and Debarr stores starting July 16th", read a note from Blockbuster Alaska District Manager Kelli Vey and General Manager Kevin Daymude.

Blockbuster managed to survive the onslaught of video streaming in Alaska because of poor internet service compared to the rest of the U.S. Harsh weather conditions would often cut the Internet connection.

While the stores struggled to stay in business, the closures sparked media coverage and public despair. Alaska had 15 stores in its heyday, some of which began closing in the early 2000's.

"It might end up being a little chaotic for a couple of weeks", Harding told the Associated Press.

As for the fate of that store, the future looks good.

  • Eleanor Harrison