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Blockbuster’s last stores in Alaska closing, leaving 1 store in US

In this May 2, 2018 file photo, Blockbuster Alaska General Manager Kevin Daymude moves a display case featuring the jockstrap worn by actor Russell Crowe in the 2005 movie "Cinderella Man" at a Blockbuster video store in Anchorage, Alaska. | AP Photo/Mark Thiessen, File

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska’s last two Blockbuster video stores are calling it quits, leaving just one store open in the rest of the nation.

Kevin Daymude, general manager of Blockbuster Alaska, says the stores in Anchorage and Fairbanks will close for rentals after Sunday night. The stores will get rid of their videos in a liquidation sale that starts Tuesday.

The closures come just two months after the host of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” sent a jockstrap worn by Russell Crowe in the 2005 movie “Cinderella Man” to the Anchorage store, which displayed it in an effort to ramp up business.

Daymude says the buzz from the Oliver connection brought business to the store. But it wasn’t enough to counter a planned lease increase.

The closures will leave the Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon, as the sole holdout.

RACHEL D’ORO, Associated Press

This May 2, 2018 file photo shows the exterior of a Blockbuster Video store in Anchorage, Alaska. The last two Blockbuster Video locations in Alaska will rent their last video on Sunday, July 15, 2018, apparently leaving the last Blockbuster Video in Bend
This May 2, 2018 file photo shows the exterior of a Blockbuster Video store in Anchorage, Alaska. The last two Blockbuster Video locations in Alaska will rent their last video on Sunday, July 15, 2018, apparently leaving the last Blockbuster Video in Bend, Ore. | AP Photo/Mark Thiessen, File