You may have thought that Netflix and online streaming killed off Blockbuster years ago, you would be wrong. It’s become a rather slow death but some Blockbusters in the United States have been operational all this time. There have been three still operating Blockbuster stores but now that number is set to come down to one as the stores in Fairbanks and Anchorage, Alaska is set to close in August. That leaves a sole Blockbuster open in Bend, Oregon.
It makes sense that these solely independent Blockbuster stores remained in business, and even remained profitable. While many of us may take high speed internet and unlimited data for granted these days, it can be very expensive or maybe even impossible to get fast enough internet service in order to stream video. So if that cannot happen, and people want to watch movies, gotta get them the old fashioned way.
Store managers noted that the last remaining Blockbuster stores have been a source of people taking pics of themselves outside as a sense of nostalgia…and then they don’t buy anything.
These Blockbuster stores were the subject of an episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and in true John Oliver fashion, bought some stuff from a Russell Crowe auction including his jockstrap from Cinderella Man and gave it to the Anchorage location.
Yes, all that stuff is in that Blockbuster in Anchorage. As for who gets it now that the stores are closing, we don’t really know but the owner doesn’t want it.
“The memorabilia is probably going to go back to the owner, which is fine, because I don’t want a jockstrap in my house,” store general manager Kevin Daymude said.
“It’s not clear yet what will happen to the memorabilia,” store owner Alan Payne said. He added that his team had explained to people involved with Oliver’s show that the stores would probably not be open much longer.
“We were very up front with them, and they said, ‘That’s OK, we want you to have it anyway,’ ” he said. “I’m not sure what we’re going to do with it.”
[Anchorage Daily News/Photo: IndieWire]