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They say everything that is new will grow old, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the decline of the Blockbuster Video chain. Blockbuster has struggled to keep its last 3 remaining stores open, after the chain's mass liquidations in the earlier part of this past decade. And now it looks like the beloved chain has taken yet another hit, as the last two Blockbuster stores in Alaska are now closing. This leaves Bend, Oregon's location as the last one standing.
Deadline reported the news today, stating that the locations in Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska will be closing their doors for good as of Monday, July 16th. This news comes after several other locations in the northern most United States ended their business earlier this year, including one other location in Anchorage. There's a bit of a silver lining though, as that closure date is only for the rental portion of the business. Tuesday, July 17th, will mark the beginning of the liquidation process for those Alaskan stores, as they will sell off their inventory until some point in August.
While this is far from the first story of a Blockbuster closing, or even a major business going under. The few remaining Blockbuster locations did get a recent assist from Last Week Tonight's John Oliver. The host and his HBO show won some memorabilia from Russell Crowe's "Art of Divorce" auction, and donated it to the remaining Anchorage location, in the hopes that it may help them stay open. But as further specified in today's announcement, the owner of Alaska's remaining Blockbuster Video locations made up his mind nine months prior, as renewing the leases on either store wasn't financially sound.
One could only hope that in a gesture of solidarity, and sibling support, those Russell Crowe items from the Anchorage store will be donated to the Bend, Oregon location, which now has the distinction of being the final Blockbuster to have ever existed. Who knows how long that store will be open for after this point? The rental business is a funny thing, because one day you're lending out copies of Blockers and A Quiet Place, and the next you're selling them for several dollars less than you bought them for.
So if you're in Bend, Oregon; or any other area surrounding that last remaining Blockbuster Video store, you may want to think about becoming more of an active patron to their business if you want them to survive. As for everyone else who even has the luxury to live within striking distance of a local, independent video store, you may want to hug them a little close to your movie loving heart in the following days. You never know who's going to close their doors next.