Published: Sat, July 14, 2018
Arts&Culture | By Matthew Castillo

Blockbuster is one store away from extinction in the US

Blockbuster is one store away from extinction in the US

Much of Alaska has unreliable internet, with ranking it third-to-last in terms of internet connectivity in the U.S. The streaming video market has therefore been less successful, allowing stores like Blockbuster to continue to thrive. Maybe, Blockbuster should have hopped on the streaming train along with Amazon, Apple, and other companies that made a decision to step into the new age.

An iconic American entertainment business is down to just one location.

Bend's Blockbuster looks just like stores from years ago - yellow on the inside and employees sporting blue shirts.

By the end of 2018, there will be only one remaining Blockbuster Video location in the United States - in Bend, Oregon. 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 stores, in College and Debarr, Alaska, will officially close on Monday, July 16, Blockbuster Alaska said on its Facebook page on Thursday. Streaming took hold, and people realized they could just beam movies right into their damn TVs instead of putting on some sweatpants and driving to an actual store.

Blockbuster gave in and declared bankruptcy in 2010, and its remaining 1,700 stores were bought by Dish Network in 2011. Their numbers eventually fell, from 13 in 2013 down to the current two, which are in Anchorage and Fairbanks.

Daymude says the buzz from the Oliver connection brought more people to the store. "We have thought of you as family for the past 28 years", wrote District Manager Kelli Vey and General Manager Kevin Daymude in the Facebook post.

The statement says both Vey and Daymude have been with the company since 1991.

"I tell you, we're going to get a lot of traffic, is what I'm expecting", Daymude told the Associated Press. "We have a bunch of 19-year-olds working here - it's fun explaining to them what a floppy disk is". What a great time to build your media library and share some Blockbuster memories with us.

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