And then there was one.
With the impending closures of Blockbuster locations in Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska, just one single store will remain in the country, Anchorage Daily News reported yesterday. The two locations in Alaska will officially close their respective doors on July 16, leaving just one location in Bend, Ore.
“…it is sad to say goodbye to our dedicated customers,” Blockbuster Alaska General Manager Kevin Daymude said in a Facebook post announcing the closures. “Both [the district manager] and I 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.”
Following the initial closures on the 16th, the locations will reopen on the 17th through the end of August for an inventory sale. But, as for the “Cinderella Man” memorabilia John Oliver gifted the Anchorage location earlier this summer, Daymude told Anchorage Daily News that it is likely to return to its original owner.
The movie rental chain opened its first store in Dallas in 1985* and swelled to a booming 9,000 locations by 2004. But, with the introduction of streaming services and a general change in consumers’ viewing habits, the company has been closing locations in the last decade and announced in 2013 the imminent closing of its remaining locations.
It’s hard to say with certainty why Blockbuster has persisted in Alaska over the years despite its relative extinction in the rest of the United States, though some point to spotty and expensive internet connections.
Or maybe it’s just the nostalgia. District Manager Kelli Vey told Anchorage Daily News that the stores saw a lot of selfies — but not nearly as many sales.
“I wish they would come in and buy something,” Vey told the paper. “All day long, I joke that I need to put a picture of somebody in the window to photobomb them.”
For those still wishing to pay homage to the late ’90s and early 2000s giant, the Bend location is open Friday and Saturday from 10:30 am – 10 pm and Sunday – Thursday from 10:30 am – 9 pm. But maybe this time think about renting a movie after you’ve snapped your picture.
*Updated 2:50 PM ET to correct the date the first Blockbuster opened