And then there was one. It's been a slow process, but Blockbuster Video is finally, almost completely dead which, for many, is a sad thing to consider. Then again, some may be surprised to find out that Blockbuster even still exists at all. Indeed, there are two remaining locations of the once very popular video rental store. But very soon, there will only be one left.
The Morley, Australia Blockbuster has finally decided to close its doors after fighting the good fight for all these years. While they lasted a whole lot longer than many other locations, the rise of streaming services and modern conveniences have finally made it so their business is no longer fiscally viable. Lyn and John Borszeky, owners of the store, have said that they will be closing at the end of the month. Starting on March 8, they'll be selling off their remaining inventory, including signage and other such accoutrement for those who want to get their hands on a piece of history. Lyn Borszeky had this to say.
"We put in a pretty good effort to be the last one in Australia, I suppose, but it was going to happen eventually and now is the time."
There was a time, far more recent in history than it may feel, that Blockbuster was perhaps one of the most important entertainment companies on the planet. They were the largest video rental chain around with more than 9,000 locations throughout the world. In the age before Netflix made streaming popular, and even before RedBox made it easier to rent DVDs, Blockbuster was king.
Netflix initially introduced their video-on-demand service in 2007 and that spelled a surprisingly quick end for Blockbuster. Just four years later in 2011, the company declared Bankruptcy and that was more or less the end of it. However, several stores around the world have held on for dear life. Now, the very last surviving relic of this bygone era is located in Bend, Oregon. The official Twitter account for the store responded to the news, declaring their excitement for being the last one standing.
"We just got off the phone with an Australian radio station. The last Blockbuster in Australia is closing at the end of this month making our Bend Oregon Store the Last Blockbuster on the Planet!!!! #LastBlockbuster #IntheWorld"
Over the course of the last year or so the remaining Blockbuster stores have received a lot of media attention. John Oliver on his HBO series Last Week Tonight donated some Russell Crowe memorabilia, most notably his jockstrap from Cinderella Man, to one of the last locations in Alaska in order to try and help them keep their doors open. Sadly, it didn't work. The Oregon store has already become a tourist destination and we can assume that will only intensify now that it's truly the last of its kind. But how long can the world's final Blockbuster truly hold out as more and more streaming services are made available to consumers? This news was previously reported by the Australian Associated Press.
We just got off the phone with an Australian radio station. The last Blockbuster in Australia is closing at the end of this month making our Bend Oregon Store the Last Blockbuster on the Planet!!!! #LastBlockbuster#IntheWorld— Blockbuster Bend (@BlockbusterBend) March 5, 2019