“At its peak almost half of the families in the entire country were going in a video store every week,” franchise owner Alan Payne said. “I don’t know of any other industries that have gone from nothing, to an integral part of the culture that fast.”
The first Blockbuster opened in 1985. By 1989, one was opening every 17 hours.
In most of Alaska, Internet is expensive. When you’re getting charged by the gigabyte, the video store can actually offer a better deal.
And during the cold dark winters, they can be community gathering places.
“The shopping experience of looking for a movie on a screen versus coming in here and seeing literally 10,000 titles, there’s no comparison,” said Payne.
At these last few Blockbusters in the last frontier of Alaska, the employees all know how this movie ends; they’re just trying to pause and enjoy it while it lasts.