- North Pole Blockbuster
- Blockbuster’s final two locations in Alaska are set to close, the stores’ general manager announced on Thursday.
- Alaska was Blockbuster’s last frontier, thanks to the state’s long winters and generally slow WiFi.
- Now, it appears that only a single Blockbuster remains will open in all of the United States: a store in Bend, Oregon.
Alaska, long the last frontier of Blockbuster, is about to lose the last holdouts of the video-rental chain.
On Thursday, Blockbuster Alaska announced that the last two stores in the state are closing up shop next week. The two stores, both in Anchorage, Alaska, will close on July 16. Stores will then reopen until August, but only for an inventory sale.
“These are the last two Blockbuster stores in Alaska that survived and it is sad to say goodbye to our dedicated customers,” Kevin Daymude, the stores’ general manager, said in a Facebook post. “We have thought of you as family for the past 28 years.”
“Thank you for sticking by us throughout all these years,” the post continued. “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.'”
Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy in 2010. However, in the years since, franchisees have continued to operate a handful of locations around the United States.
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. Nostalgic visitors flocked to the Alaska Blockbuster locations to take photos of the iconic blue-and-yellow signs and rows of DVDs.
However, over the last few years, even the Alaska locations have died off with the rise of streaming services like Netflix.
While the stores struggled to stay in business, the closures sparked media coverage and public despair. In May, John Oliver and HBO even donated a bizarre assortment of Russell Crowe paraphernalia to one of the Anchorage stores that announced plans to close on Thursday.