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Last Stand for Video Rental Stores

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EUGENE, Ore. — The unofficial end of an entertainment era, Blockbuster announced it’s closing the rest of its retail stores.

The move to shut down the remainder of its 300 stores came as little surprise for the owner of Silver Screen Video in Eugene. He says their business plan was outdated, using too much space compared to the selection.

Don Flinn has thousands of movies crammed into Silver Screen which is on the 24-hundred block of Agate. He does have new releases, but not as many as the traditional Blockbuster or Hollywood video had.

Over the years he’s acquired other titles like BBC features. They were features to help him compete with on-demand options like Netflix and even Redbox. He says the other thing his store offers, a sense of community.

“They’ll be a lot of the people in the neighborhood that meet each other,” Flinn said. “They come here and kind of hang out. some people still like to hang out and not only see the new releases, but just browse.”

Flinn admits his business is helped by the fact he owns the building outright. But he too is evolving his store. He showed us blueprints of a restaurant he’s working on at the store to help bring more people in.

As for Dish Network owned Blockbuster, the remainder of the stores will be closed after the beginning of the new year. The last one in Eugene is already empty. The company plans to expand its digital offerings.

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