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Blockbuster bids adieu

Of the Keizertimes

Blockbuster Video in Keizer closed abruptly this week.

A sign on the door at 5402 River Road N. Tuesday morning indicated the store was closing. A man inside packing boxes and identifying himself as an employee said Tuesday there would be no liquidation sale. He declined to give his name. The store was in the Creekside Plaza shopping center.

A Blockbuster press representative didn’t return a phone call seeking comment.

Blockbuster still has a kiosk in Keizer’s Roth’s Fresh Markets location.

The closest brick-and-mortar video rental store to Keizer is now Mr. Video, at 2927 Broadway Street NE near Dollar Tree. Blockbuster locations on Commercial Street SE, Lancaster Drive NE and Wallace Road NW were still open as of Tuesday.

Tony Grove, who owns Tony’s Kingdom of Comics just a few doors down, said the closure was “horrible” for his business, saying he depended heavily on foot traffic from the store.

“My membership card says Member No. 7,” Grove said. “I’ve been loyal to it ever since it opened. They’ve been closing all these stores and these guys have been fighting the good fight.”

“I’m sorry to see them go,” Whitney Pakulak Davis said on the Keizertimes’ Facebook page. “We didn’t rent much from them, but we have a huge DVD library from the low priced sales tables they had.”

Darrell Fuller called the move “disappointing,” saying the store had a much better selection than the automated kiosks around town like Redbox and, yes, Blockbuster.

Blockbuster Video has been in serious financial trouble for some time. Last year the chain’s stock was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange after shares began trading for less than a dollar. Shares was at 5 cents Tuesday. More than 1,000 Blockbuster stores have closed in the past two years.

After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September 2010, the company was acquired by Dish Network.

Founded in Dallas, Texas in 1985, the chain once had more than 4,800 stores and more than 60,000 employees in the United States alone.