Are there any blockbuster stores in Texas?
There is only one blockbuster left in the US
Blockbuster, once a thriving hub of entertainment in cities and towns across America, is up to its last business. The Bend, Oregon film rental is the last of its kind after two stores in Alaska closed in July.
In 1985 Blockbuster opened its first store in Dallas, Texas and was extremely successful. By 2004 the company expanded to 9,000 locations. However, the introduction of movie streaming services badly damaged the company's business model and it never recovered.
To rent a recently released movie, customers can now choose from a number of services including Amazon Video, Fandango Now, Vudu, and more, and can instantly stream the movie instead of going to a store and pick it up. Other movie and TV streaming services like Hulu and Netflix may not have as many new versions, but they have huge catalogs of movies and box sets that can also be streamed instantly and accessed via subscription.
Perhaps surprising to some, Netflix started a physical DVD rental service when it was founded 20 years ago. Rentals were mailed, but Netflix quickly moved on to offer viewing options through streaming. However, post-DVD rental continues and had over 3 million subscribers as of April 2018.
Of the three blockbuster stores that survived through 2018, two were in Alaska. They stayed open as independent businesses even though the company went bankrupt in 2010. The Anchorage blockbuster was the subject of a segment on the HBO show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. Oliver gave the Anchorage store a jockstrap that was once worn by actor Russell Crowe to attract more people to the store.
But district manager Kelli Vey told the Anchorage Daily News that the store had become an attraction for selfies, not sales. "I wish they'd come in and buy something," said Vey. "I joke all day that I have to put a photo of someone in the window to take their picture."
It's not clear why the last blockbuster deals were mostly in Alaska, but some have suggested that costly and unreliable internet connections mean people in the state couldn't take advantage of online streaming services. Now that they're gone, the country's only blockbuster place in America is in Bend, Oregon.
The blockbuster story warned companies opposed to the changes introduced by the technology. It's also a nostalgic reminder of times gone by. Pretty soon, all that's left of the video rental chain will be those stores that will be remembered through selfies.
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