The Pueblo West View

Pueblo's last Blockbuster closing

Rod Conrad isn’t surprised but he’s not happy. This week, Pueblo’s last Blockbuster announced plans to close.

“It’s the end of an era,” said Conrad, a regular at the store at 1535 U.S. 50 West, who paid a visit Friday in hopes of completing his collection of the TV show “24.”

The move by the North Side store comes two weeks after the South Side Blockbuster announced plans to shutter.

Closeout sales are ongoing at both stores. No final closure dates have been announced.

“I’m going to miss the people. They were friendly folk. Doggone it. I just hate to see it go,” Conrad said.

Each Blockbuster store employs about seven to 10 full- and part-time workers.

Still, Conrad said he isn’t surprised by the closures given the emergence of video on demand, Netflix and Redbox. “The Internet has taken them (video stores) away,” he said.

The closures continue a major cutback on brick-and-mortar Blockbuster stores following Dish Network’s purchase of the bankrupt chain in 2011.

Denver-based Dish closed about 500 of the stores in 2012 and announced in January plans to close another 300 this year, which would leave about 500. Dish also continues to offer a Blockbuster online service.

In 2010, the last two Hollywood Video stores in Pueblo closed after the chain’s owner, Movie Gallery, declared bankruptcy and shuttered its 1,900 U.S. stores.

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The Pueblo West View