There is officially one Blockbuster store left in the U.S., and RIP, our childhoods
On Monday, July 16th, the last two Blockbuster stores in Alaska will close up shop for good, leaving one Blockbuster store left in the U.S. Tbh, we thought all Blockbusters had closed years ago — but apparently the Bend, Oregon shop is the little Blockbuster that could.
“How exciting,” the Bend store’s general manager Sandi Harding told the NY Post about the distinction. “It might end up being a little chaotic for a couple of weeks.”
Deadline reported that Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy in 2010 and that most Blockbuster stores began to shut down around 2013, but in Alaska — where internet connectivity is rated the 3rd worst in the U.S. (per Gizmodo) — many Blockbuster stores remained. Alaska became a sort of safe space for Blockbuster, and just two years ago there were still nine Blockbuster stores in the state. Most people thought Alaska would carry the Blockbuster torch all the way to the finish line (even John Oliver tried to save the two stores from shutting down), but as of this coming Monday, only the one Oregon shop will remain.
In fact, the Oregon store’s manager said there are “no plans on closing anytime soon.” According to Gizmodo, there were once 9,000 Blockbuster stores around the world.
In honor of the two soon-to-be-defunct Alaska stores, the district manager and general manager wrote the sweetest note to their customers.
"These are the last two Blockbuster stores in Alaska that survived and it is sad to say goodbye to our dedicated customers. We have thought of you as family for the past 28 years," the managers wrote in a Facebook post. "Thank you for sticking by us throughout all these years. I can’t tell you how much it means to us. We hope to see you at our stores during the closing, even if it’s just to say 'Hello'. What a great time to build your media library and share some Blockbuster memories with us."
It’s the end of an era.