Blockbuster Closes North Pole Location, Leaving Just Six Stores Open in America

One of the few remaining Blockbuster video rental stores will lock its doors for the final time. The snowy wonderland of North Pole, Alaska will no long host the blue and yellow ticket-stub signage that for many symbolizes a time when renting a film required leaving your home.

"We regret to inform you that our North Pole store will be closing," Blockbuster Alaska wrote on its Facebook page. The store stopped renting films on Sunday, March 11 and began an inventory sale that will continue through March and April.

"Kelli and her crew have done a phenomenal job and will be greatly missed," Blockbuster Alaska wrote, adding, "Thank you SO VERY much North Pole for your years of support."

Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy protection in 2010 after a slow decline from a heyday of over 4,500 stores in the U.S. and twice that worldwide. The remaining company was bought by Dish Network, whose website lists nine stores left in the U.S.

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Of those, North Pole is the third to close, leaving just six Blockbuster stores in America—four in Alaska and two in Oregon, according to Sky News. Alaska has been seen as the last bastion of Blockbuster, where strong weather and patchy internet service mean renting a film from a store can sometimes be the most reliable way to see it.

Members of the North Pole community commented on the Facebook post with disappointment. Carole Howard listed a number of other stores that had gone from the town.

We regret to inform you that our North Pole store will be closing. We will end rental business on Sunday, March 11th and...

Posted by Blockbuster Alaska on Monday, March 12, 2018

"Our town has grown, in the 30+ years, we have lived here, slowly everything is leaving," she wrote. Rachael Stark wrote that her family still uses the Blockbuster in Fairbanks, Alaska.

"We and our kids enjoy the social experience as in going outdoors to get something," Stark wrote. "Going into stores will become a thing of the past that's why as a family we never use Amazon or shop online."

One notable North Pole resident, a man legally named Santa Claus, commented that he was "Sad that North Pole Blockbuster is closing."