Blockbuster Video is one of the last few remnants from the 1990s. The video rental franchise’s numbers were already dwindling, but after the announcement of the closures of the last two remaining stores in Alaska, is now down to one store in the United States.
General Manager of Blockbuster Alaska, Kevin Daymude revealed via a Facebook post that rental operations will cease in Fairbanks and DeBarr Road stores before they reopen to sell off any remaining inventory until the end of August.
The fall of Blockbuster began around 2013 when Joseph Clayton CEO of the video rental franchise’s parent company Dish Network Corp announced the shift towards digital distribution from physical means. With the announcement followed the closure of 300 stores but the company vowed to continue to serve customers via online through an On Demand app.
The last remaining Blockbuster stores in Alaska gained national attention about two months ago when Last Week Tonight’s host John Oliver spoke on the stores struggling to survive. He pointed out that due to states costly internet service, people were depended on the franchise for videos instead of streaming them online. He made a last-ditch effort to save the DeBarr Road Blockbuster by donating the jockstrap used by Russell Crowe in the film Cinderella Man. The move was a short fix and wasn’t enough to keep the store afloat, unfortunately.
With the closing of those two Alaska stores, a Blockbuster store located in Bend, Oregon as the last one standing. The General Manager Sandi Harding of that location spoke on his franchise being the last one stating: “If you’d asked me 14 years ago, there’s no way I’d thought we’d be the last one. It just seems a little crazy.” Hell, we’re shocked your store exists period.
Blockbuster is on the verge of becoming a thing of the past in the US, but it still has numerous stores and kiosks in Australia.