Only one Block­buster video store left

No more late fees

Toronto Sun - - SHOWBIZ -

Alaska’s last two Block­buster video stores are call­ing it quits, leav­ing just one store open in the U.S.

The stores in Anchorage and Fair­banks will close for rentals af­ter Sun­day night and re­open Tues­day for video liq­ui­da­tion sales through the end of Au­gust, said Kevin Day­mude, gen­eral man­ager of Block­buster Alaska.

“It’s go­ing to be crazy,” Day­mude said of the tem­po­rary re­open­ing. He said res­i­dents were sad when they heard the news and many peo­ple have been rem­i­nisc­ing about their Block­buster mem­o­ries.

The news was an­nounced to Alaskans on Block­buster Alaska’s Face­book page.

The clo­sures come just two months af­ter the host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver sent a jock­strap worn by Rus­sell Crowe in the 2005 movie Cin­derella Man and other items to the Anchorage store, which dis­played it in an ef­fort to ramp up busi­ness.

Day­mude says the buzz from the Oliver con­nec­tion brought more peo­ple to the store.

“You would not be­lieve how much busi­ness we got just from that mem­o­ra­bilia alone,” he said. “I can’t thank John Oliver or his show enough.”

But it wasn’t enough to counter a planned lease in­crease at both Alaska lo­ca­tions.

The jock­strap will prob­a­bly go to the fran­chise owner, Alan Payne, who lives out­side Austin, Texas.

The clo­sures will leave the Block­buster in Bend, Ore­gon, as the sole holdout. “How ex­cit­ing,” said the Bend store’s gen­eral man­ager Sandi Hard­ing. “It might end up be­ing a lit­tle chaotic for a cou­ple of weeks.”

As for the fate of that store, the fu­ture looks good.

“We have no plans on clos­ing any­time soon,” Hard­ing said.

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