Blockbuster down to one video store left in US

Blockbuster Video is closing its last remaining stores in Alaska, leaving the chain's location in Bend, Ore., as its sole remaining location in the United States.

The Associated Press reports that two Alaska locations in Anchorage and Fairbanks will close for business on Sunday, then begin selling their remaining stock on Tuesday.

The closures come despite a campaign from HBO host John Oliver to increase business at the stores by donating a jockstrap worn by Russel Crowe in the 2005 film "Cinderella Man" as a tourist attraction.


Kevin Daymude, owner of the two Alaska stores, told the AP that the increased revenue was welcome, but that a planned lease increase on the two buildings was too much for his business to overcome.

“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.”

The Oregon store manager told the AP that her location becoming the last in the U.S. could possibly boost sales, adding that her business was not in danger of closing.

“How exciting,” said general manager Sandi Harding. “It might end up being a little chaotic for a couple of weeks.”

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

Blockbuster also runs a streaming service and vending machines in some European countries, as well as several physical locations in Australia.

The company has faced fierce competition from online video streaming services such as Netflix and filed for bankruptcy protections in 2010. In 2011, 1,700 of the chain's remaining stores were bought by satellite TV company Dish Network.