The Alaska Blockbusters made national headlines earlier this year when John Oliver bought a number of movie items from Russell Crowe's post-divorce auction, including a leather jockstrap from Cinderella Man and a vest from Les Miserables, and sent them to the stores. The stunt brought plenty of attention to the location, but the video store just didn't get the influx of business it was expecting. Now that the two locations in Alaska are retiring, that leaves only one store left.
That leave one last Blockbuster location open in the United States, in Bend, Oregon.
The company, which once boasted almost 10,000 locations in the US, was founded by Waste Management founder and former Florida Marlins owner Wayne Huizenga, who passed away earlier this year.
"Thank you for sticking by us throughout all these years", he wrote.
"Alaska had always been - I always thought they'd outlast us", she said. "I can't thank John Oliver or his show enough".
For years now in Alaska, announcements have cropped up every few months that another Blockbuster will shut its doors.
"It is sad to say goodbye to our dedicated customers". We hope to see you at our stores during the closing, even if it's just to say "Hello".
Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy back in 2011 and closed its last corporate store in 2014, signalling it was closing down all operations.
"It's tough to tell the customers, it really is", said Kevin Daymude, the general manager at the DeBarr location. Much of Alaska has unreliable internet, with HighSpeedInternet.com 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.
Alaska's Wasilla, North Pole and Soldotna stores, along with another one in Anchorage, have all closed shop for good this year, the Anchorage Daily Newsreported.
Ever since the mid-2000s, Blockbuster has struggled to compete with Netflix and other streaming services.
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