According to the stats of 2017, there were 10 blockbuster stores open in the whole country. But according to current day stats, there is only one. The last surviving branch of America in the filed of the blockbuster video is the one in Bend, Oregon.
This lone survivor has followed the dodo in the streaming era. Recently there were three different locations of the branches, but after that one branch closed in Fairbanks, two in Alaska and one in Anchorage put the miserable tag on the market.
While giving an interview to the Washington Post, the general manager of store Sandi Harding said that even a couple of days back, people drive through and enter the store while seeing “Open” sign and then said “Oh my God, how you are still here, you can’t be here!”
People started visiting rent video centers not to buy the videos but to take pictures. While closing one of the video outlets in Alaska, the store manager wrote an emotional message in a Facebook post.
Kevin Daymude said that the store is now closed and he ran the store like a family for 28 years. According to the report from WaPo, back in 1989, every 17 hours, a new blockbuster shop opened. Before Netflix replaced Blockbuster video centers in 2004, there were almost 9,000 stores in the whole country.
It was also reported that Reed Hastings, the co-founder of Netflix, offered to sell the company to the Blockbusters for $50 million but the company denied to buy Netflix.
There were thousands of stores that closed at the start of July and after that, there were only three left, one in Bend and other two in Alaska. This Sunday, those two in Alaska also closed leaving Bend store alone. Harding further told that Blockbuster stores are so rare that people stop by and take pictures with the board of Blockbuster.
She further said that tourists often come to visit the Deschutes National Forest but then they also visit her store, take selfies with the board and some of them even start buying.
The longtime servant of the company Harding joined the Blockbuster in May 2005, 14 years ago. Despite the closure of the stores, she insisted that nothing has changed. She said that there is one thing which keeps attracting customers to her store and that’s customer services.
The new show by NBC, “The Good Place” is available now on rent, she further added. To clear her point of view, she gave an example of IBM and said that even IBM is still using the old floppy disk to amaze the young generation.
But there was one point where Harding did agree with the rest. She said that agrees that Netflix and other streaming services have changed the way people watch entertainment. Netflix and Redbox have pushed the movie rental system in the hole, she further added. According to the report of The Post’s Samantha Schmidt, every 17 hours saw a new blockbuster store to open but after 2,000, the stores have started closing at the same rate.
Back in 2011, there were only a few Blockbuster stores opened when the Dish network bought all of those. After that Dish Network demolished the remaining outlets of Blockbusters. Harding said that was not the case with her store as her customers were too loyal to her.
She further said that happiness and the feel you get while buying the last copy of a new movie is a lot as compared to just clicking the download button. The two of the last three stored were in Alaska, and there was no surprise with that.
According to the Schmidt report, the internet usage fees are much higher as compared to other places and that’s what makes old-fashioned people buy the last copy of an upcoming movie. On Thursday, the two Alaska stores also closed after the property lease was increased. It is reported that one of the Alaska stores will be reopened for selling inventory.