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In the late 80s, a new Blockbuster video store opened every 17 hours, and by the chain’s height in 2004, there were more than 9,000 locations. All that changed a few years later, however, with the rise of Netflix and Redbox. Now the once-unstoppable video chain is down to its final location.

The remnants of Blockbuster were bought up in 2011 by Dish Network, mostly to squeeze any brand equity remaining in the company name. The erstwhile slayer of mom-and-pop video shops had itself fallen prey to comfort, complacency, and disruption.

For the last little while, there have been two Blockbusters in Alaska and one in Oregon. With the recent shuttering of the Alaska stores, there is exactly one Blockbuster left in all of the United States. The Bend, Oregon store, which is locally owned and licenses its name from Dish, seems to be profitable enough to remain open, at least for now. It has become something of a tourist attraction for those nostalgic for the nineties, as well as for those who like to find their Friday night’s entertainment the old fashioned way by browsing the shelves of a video store.

Do you look back fondly on endless hours at the local Blockbuster, Insiders? Or is the company better relegated to the past like the dinosaurs and the dodo?

[via The Washington Post]

6 Responses to “There is Now One Blockbuster Left in America”

  1. Member [Join Now]
    Chad Cronin [chadcronin]

    I definitely miss it sometimes but you can’t replicate the past. The movies are different and I don’t miss physical media. It would be fun to visit one again but I like streaming and no damaged media

  2. Visitor [Join Now]
    Kone [visitor]

    I used them. Had the one DVD a day deal. The store was a 5 min drive.
    Went everyday.. Yes i do miss them.. Now i have NetFlix in the mail & Online.
    And the online deal with Hulu & Amazon.
    It was fun to go look & all.

  3. Visitor [Join Now]
    Peter [visitor]

    It was good for the time, but their rental fees and “not a late fee” fees were insanely high. A great way to find some old title that you wanted to watch if they happened to have it. New movies were okay, but expensive and often out of stock for the first week or two. They didn’t adapt when Redbox and Netflix popped on the scenes and that was their downfall. Sure Redbox was limited in selection, but at $1/movie, they were cheap and easy. Netflix required waiting for your movies in the mail, but you could just keep your queue going and watch what came in for a relatively small price.

    I don’t really miss Blockbuster. I miss the smaller shops that were cheaper and friendlier. There was one in my home town for ages – even survived past the Blockbuster years before finally going down due to streaming. They were great – rented video games, movies, would even rent to younger kids without too much trouble. I know I rented at least one NES cart from them because they were convenient and somewhat cheap.

  4. Visitor [Join Now]
    Mike Sommers [visitor]

    There should be a HUGE sale on leftover discs!

  5. Visitor [Join Now]
  6. Visitor [Join Now]
    Jim C. [visitor]

    We visited both of the Alaska stores (Fairbanks and Anchorage) this summer. It felt very nostalgic. I remember renting from their “blue boxes” and also getting discs by mail and returning them to the store for a free rental from the store. So they did try to emulate both Redbox and Netflix.

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