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With closure in Midtown Anchorage, the world will have one less Blockbuster store

  • Author: Annie Zak
  • Updated: August 30, 2016
  • Published August 30, 2016

A “store closing” sign hangs outside a Blockbuster video on Northern Lights Boulevard in Midtown Anchorage on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016. The store is one of only a handful of Blockbusters around the country that remain open, including several in Alaska. (Annie Zak / Alaska Dispatch News)

One of Blockbuster video's Anchorage locations — among the last in the U.S. — will soon close.

The Blockbuster on Northern Lights Boulevard is holding a going-out-of-business sale, and will close "sometime toward the end of September," said Alan Payne, who owns Austin, Texas-based Blockbuster licensee Border Entertainment.

Border has eight Blockbuster locations in Alaska, including the Midtown store. Payne said that the Northern Lights spot is too expensive, and sales have declined so much that it no longer makes sense to keep it open.

"Sales just dropped to the point that we couldn't cover expenses," he said. "It's our most occupancy-cost store that's still open."

The store is selling off all its merchandise — movies, games, television shows — as it prepares to shut its doors. A sign on the door on Tuesday said that the store is "closed for rental business," and the hours of operation throughout the sale will be from noon to 9 p.m.

Payne also attributed the closure to shifts in how people consume media.

"It's just a transition that's been going on for … seven or eight years now, from physical media to digital media," he said. "That includes all forms of on-demand: Netflix, YouTube, music streaming."

Two other Blockbusters are still open locally — one in South Anchorage and one in East Anchorage — and others remain in Soldotna, Eagle River, Wasilla, Fairbanks and North Pole.

Kenai's Blockbuster closed earlier this year and other locations in Juneau, Kodiak and Anchorage have also gone in recent years.

Payne said the Northern Lights store has about 10 employees and they will be able to move to another store if they want. There will be "no involuntary layoffs," he said.