Business & Real Estate

Blockbuster’s last Texas store is closing. A handful remain, in just two other states

Denise Rodriguez, left, and Erica Martinez wait in a long line to purchase movies during the liquidation process of the last Blockbuster location in Texas Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018, in Edinburg, Texas. Martinez says she and Rodriguez still rented from the store because the internet in her part of Hidalgo County is not fast enough to stream movies online. The location was the last to remain open in the state of Texas, in which Blockbuster opened its' first store in Dallas in 1985.
Denise Rodriguez, left, and Erica Martinez wait in a long line to purchase movies during the liquidation process of the last Blockbuster location in Texas Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018, in Edinburg, Texas. Martinez says she and Rodriguez still rented from the store because the internet in her part of Hidalgo County is not fast enough to stream movies online. The location was the last to remain open in the state of Texas, in which Blockbuster opened its' first store in Dallas in 1985. The Monitor via AP

Once more than 9,000 strong, the tally of Blockbuster video stores left in the U.S. will soon be as low as eight.

One of the rental retailer’s last standing stores has announced it’s closing its doors in Edinburg, Texas, and will sell off the rest of its stock over the next few weeks, according to The Monitor.

Once it’s shuttered, eight official stores will remain – six of them in Alaska and two in Oregon, per Blockbuster’s now-barren website.

Blockbuster closed most of its stores in 2013 after filing for bankruptcy three years earlier.

Alaska’s remaining stores are operated by Alan Payne of Texas, the state in which Blockbuster was founded in 1985. Payne called the closures “sad.”

“It was an event to go to a Blockbuster store on a Friday or Saturday night and most people if they weren’t going to the theater ... For a long time it was just part of what people did on the weekends,” Payne, who also owned the Edinburg location, told The Monitor.

A sight evoking 1990s nostalgia for many, The Monitor documented Saturday’s liquidation sale at the Edinburg location, where long lines packed the store up to find their favorite movies on DVD – to buy, not rent.

Full extinction may be drawing near for the chain, as one other Oregon location shut down at the end of last year. The remaining stores in Alaska serve areas with slow or expensive internet connections, where streaming services like Netflix or Hulu are not as feasible.

As far as international stores, Australia appears to be the only other country with Blockbuster outlets still breathing. By last July, a dozen stores remained open there, according to the Daily Mail. Since then, at least two more have expired: one in Canberra and another in Hervey Bay.

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