Editors' Choice

Coming this Summer—The Last Blockbuster Video

Diana Rolland / July 16, 2018

Did you know that Blockbuster Video was still a thing?

There are still Blockbuster stores still open for business in the United States, renting videos to those unfortunate few (or fortunate, depending on your point of view) without easy access to digital streaming. With the closure of the two stores in Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska, there is just one Blockbuster Video left standing: Bend, Oregon.

The video rental franchise started in 1985 and swelled to 9,000 locations by 2004. At the time, the home video market seemed like a sure bet as consumers flocked to watch more movies and television at home. No one predicted the meteoric rise of digital streaming that devastated movie rental businesses. For most consumers, their local video stores went out of business years ago, replaced by a plethora of streaming services, online video, and apps. Alaska only remained a viable location for rental stores due to spotty and expensive internet access; however, the number of stores still declined from 13 in 2013 to 2 in 2018. The two remaining stores will close on July 16.

I can remember spending hours in Blockbuster debating what to rent. Now, I spend hours scrolling through Netflix debating what to stream. The more things change, the more things stay the same.

“Coming this summer—the Last Blockbuster.”