it wasn't over...it still isn't over
In virtually every state across the U.S., Blockbuster Video has become a relic of the past, from a time way back when it was necessary to physically go to a store to rent a movie rather than cueing one up with the click of the button. Alaska is the exception.
The Washington Post reported Wednesday that while most Blockbuster stores have shut down after a period of ubiquity in the 1990s ended in a declaration of bankruptcy, there are still at least 10 Blockbusters left in existence. Most of those are in Alaska.
The Alaska stores there aren't just surviving — they're thriving, Blockbuster licensee-owner Alan Payne told The Washington Post:
[A] great deal of the business' endurance has come from the core customer base in Alaska, primarily made up of older people. Alaska ranks high in disposable income among the states, due to good-paying jobs, exceptionally low taxes, and payments from reinvested oil savings. Moreover, internet service is substantially more expensive than in most states, since most data packages are not unlimited. Heavy Netflix streamers could end up paying hundreds of dollars per month in internet bills, Payne said. [The Washington Post]
Alaska's weather also makes it the prime place for binge-watching. The Washington Post noted the "most profitable Blockbuster store" in existence is in Fairbanks, where "temperatures can reach 50 below zero."
Payne plans to keep his eight Blockbuster stores (seven of which are in Alaska, with the eighth in Texas) in existence for as long as his employees are willing to stick around. He argued there's a certain magic that's lost when picking out a movie on Netflix. "When you go in the store, walk down the aisle, you're going to see all kinds of things you never thought of," he said.
Read more about the remaining Blockbusters at The Washington Post.