The remaining Alaska stores will officially shut their doors for good on Sunday, but they will reopen on Monday for inventory sales that will run through July and August. That leaves a lone Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon as the last man standing in a video chain that, at its peak, had more than 9,000 stores, half outside the U.S., and employed more than 84,000 people worldwide. Which means the store in Bend, Oregon is the last Blockbuster standing. The movie and video game rental service was one of the most popular stores in the 90's and early 00's.
Bend's Blockbuster looks just like stores from years ago - yellow on the inside and employees sporting blue shirts.
She remembers when Netflix came out.
Daymude said the loss of such a loyal customer base will be a hard element in addition to the closing.
During the last five years, locations that operated as licensed franchises were able to continue business under the Blockbuster name, which is how these three locations managed to stay around as long as they did. "We have thought of you as family for the past 28 years", wrote District Manager Kelli Vey and General Manager Kevin Daymude in the Facebook post.
Kevin Daymude, general manager of the Anchorage store, said the closing of both stores has not only to do with the ending of both leases but also the economy.
"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver wanted to help out, so in May, he sent the second Anchorage store some Russell Crowe movie memorabilia, including a leather jockstrap he wore in the 2005 film "Cinderella Man".
"You would not believe how much business we got just from that memorabilia alone", he said. 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.
In 2013, there were thirteen Blockbuster stores in Alaska, which fell to nine by 2016.
Texas and Alaska used to be popular locations for Blockbuster because of the poor quality of high-speed internet service and high prices.