That leave one last Blockbuster location open in the United States, in Bend, Oregon.
Alan Payne, who owns the Alaska stores through a Texas-based Blockbuster licensee called Border Entertainment, said he and his team determined about nine months ago that it wouldn't make sense to renew any more leases on the stores that remained.
"It's tough to tell the customers, it really is", Kevin Daymude, general manager at the DeBarr, Anchorage, location, told the newspaper. We have thought of you as family for the past 28 years.
While the stores struggled to stay in business, the closures sparked media coverage and public despair. Much of Alaska has unreliable internet, with HighSpeedInternet.com ranking it third-to-last in terms of internet connectivity in the U.S. The streaming video market has therefore been less successful, allowing stores like Blockbuster to continue to thrive. That lucky honor goes to a store in Bend, Oregon.
"Thank you for sticking by us throughout all these years", Daymude and Vey wrote on Facebook. "Did you get it in?" There, they built a shrine to the actor with such props as a hood from Robin Hood and a Vest from Les Miserables.
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Daymude sent photos to Crowe of the memorabilia on display in his story. "I can't thank John Oliver or his show enough". Despite modern technology rendering the stores obsolete, a handful have managed to survive in the US.
Most pundits assumed Blockbuster locations in Alaska would remain open due to poor broadband coverage. It was the seventh last-remaining story. One notable North Pole resident, a man legally named Santa Claus, commented that he was "sad that the North Pole Blockbuster is closing".
The news was announced to Alaskans on Blockbuster Alaska's Facebook page. The store stopped renting films on Sunday, March 11 and began an inventory sale that continued through March and April.
However, over the last few years, even the Alaska locations have died off with the rise of streaming services like Netflix. In September 2010 it filed for bankruptcy and has spent the past eight years closing down stores across the world.