What was once the highlight of any family’s Friday night, has now become nothing more than an impractical symbol of nostalgia.
Blockbuster video revolutionised movie-watching back in the nineties, where you’d have to fight to get a copy of Castaway.
The UK lost the iconic video store in 2013 when it went into administration, and now there is only one left in the whole world after both Alaskan franchises announced their closure.
In the face of LoveFilm and then Gods of movie rental Netflix, how could Blockbuster compete?
Two of the three remaining stores in the world were in Alaska, but The Last Frontier has to bid farewell to its Anchorage and Fairbanks stores on Monday July 16.
The only blue and yellow store still standing is in Bend, Oregon.
Though the owner said that the two Alaska stores were still profitable, he said that renewing their leases wouldn’t be financially viable.
Sandi Harding, the Bend store’s general manager, told CNN:
It’s very nostalgic. We have a bunch of 19-year-olds working here, it’s fun explaining to them what a floppy disk is.
I go out at 6-7 o’clock in the morning buying the new movies, getting what people want, trying to stay relevant and keep our customers happy.
Daily, we have people coming in and going, ‘Oh my gosh. you’re a Blockbuster. How are you still here?’
We all have licensing agreements and leases, but as of now we have no plans on closing.
Blockbuster Alaska wrote on their Facebook page:
We regret to inform our customers that Blockbuster Video will be closing both the College and Debarr stores starting July 16th.
We will reopen for our inventory sale on Tuesday, July 17th at 12 noon and will run through the months of July and August. These are the last two Blockbuster stores in Alaska that survived and it is sad to say goodbye to our dedicated customers.
We have thought of you as family for the past 28 years. Both Kelli Vey and I (Kevin Daymude) have been with the company since 1991 and have had great memories throughout our career.
Thank you for sticking by us throughout all these years. I can’t tell you how much it means to us.
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.
When the Blockbuster empire in Alaska looked to be dwindling a few years a go, Last Week Tonight host John Olive donated some Russell Crowe movie memorabilia, including the leather jockstrap he wore in Cinderella Man, but it wasn’t enough to keep it afloat.
At the company’s peak in 2004, Blockbuster boasted 9,000 locations with each store stocking at least 7,000 films.
Once people had the option to rent from their sofas there was really no hope for the walk-in rental service.
Impressive they lasted this long!
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