Just 1 Blockbuster store left in US as Alaska stores close

Blockbuster is down to one retail location in the United States

The stores, one on DeBarr Road in Anchorage and the other in Fairbanks, will close Monday for rental business, a post on the Facebook page for Blockbuster in Alaska said Thursday afternoon. On Tuesday, July 17 they will reopen for an inventory sale at noon through July and August.

Alan Payne, owner of the Alaska stores through licensee Border Entertainment, explained that he and his team had determined sometime past year that renewing the remaining stores' leases did not make financial sense. We hope to see you at our stores during the closing, even if it's just to say "Hello". At that time, Border chose to stop renewing any Blockbuster store leases, resulting in a series of closures across the state over the past nine months.

Most pundits assumed Blockbuster locations in Alaska would remain open due to poor broadband coverage. The owners told Deadline that while the stores are still profitable, the money they're making is rapidly declining, and it wouldn't make financial sense to renew the leases. After announcing it would close its final 300 retail stores, the company vowed to continue serving customers online through an On Demand app.

The two Alaska closures will leave the Blockbuster in Bend, Ore., as the last store standing.

"The memorabilia is probably going to go back to the owner, which is fine, because I don't want a jockstrap in my house", Daymude said.

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The stores were given some media attention a couple months ago by HBO's Last Week Tonight with John Oliver which sent a jockstrap worn by Russell Crowe in the 2005 movie Cinderella Man to one of the stores.

It's not clear yet what will happen to the memorabilia, Payne said.

Comedian John Oliver actually tried to save the struggling Alaska Blockbusters this past April in a amusing campaign that included Russell Crowe's jock strap. I can't tell you how much it means to us. "I'm not sure what we're going to do with it".

At the Bend location, general manager Sandi Harding said there are no plans to close. She was shocked to learn that her store will soon be the only one in the country. "It just seems a little insane".

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