Blockbuster Down to Final U.S. Location

A man walks past a Blockbuster Video store

Two of the three remaining Blockbuster video locations in the USA will soon close, according to an announcement made Thursday.

Kevin Daymude, general manager of the Anchorage store, said the closing of both stores has not only to do with the ending of both leases but also the economy.

Blockbuster Alaska announced the closure of its two Anchorage stores, saying inventory will be liquidated through the months of July and August.

HBO "Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver made an effort to help drum up business at the Anchorage location in April by sending the store movie memorabilia to display, including a jockstrap worn by actor Russell Crowe in the 2005 movie "Cinderella Man".

Kevin Daymude, owner of the two Alaska stores, told the AP that the increased revenue was welcome, but that a planned lease increase on the two buildings was too much for his business to overcome.

Blockbuster has managed to keep locations open in Alaska longer than the rest of the country, thanks to the state's long winters and generally slow WiFi. "The loyalty was huge, I mean they were like family and we'll miss them desperately".

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"Thank you for sticking by us throughout all these years".

Two of Blockbuster's last three stores will close on Sunday. "If you'd asked me 14 years ago, there's no way I'd thought we'd be the last one". A Facebook post near the end of June on the Blockbuster Alaska page read, "We see you out there taking selfies in front of our stores, show them to us!"

Blockbuster gave in and declared bankruptcy in 2010, and its remaining 1,700 stores were bought by Dish Network in 2011. An employee interviewed for the segment noted that many people simply photograph or enter the store for the novelty and memories.

While most states lost their Blockbuster locations years ago, Alaska had held onto the brand. But Blockbuster faithfuls knew it could never replace the authenticity of a physical store.

Blockbuster formally closed all company-owned stores by January 2014, leaving franchisees to fend for themselves.

However, over the last few years, even the Alaska locations have died off with the rise of streaming services like Netflix.

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