Blockbuster Video in Plattsburgh will not be closing its doors.
PLATTSBURGH — Blockbuster thanked its customers for their loyalty, and in the same breath, the former video rental powerhouse in the Town of Plattsburgh announced its closure.
The store posted a sign that read, “Dear friends, we regret to inform you that Saturday will be our last day as a rental store.”
Then, in a rapid turn of events, a week later the store posted another sign on its door that said, “Lease renewed. Reopen Thurs. or Fri. We’re back.”
In fact, Blockbuster has been closing stores around the world as it struggles to regroup in the face of significant financial obstacles.
Employees at the Blockbuster store declined comment when the store initially announced its closure.
The store on Smithfield Boulevard in the Town of Plattsburgh rents out movies and video games and also sells the same products.
The initial note in the store informed customers that this past weekend was their last as a rental store.
Blockbuster was set to start a liquidation this past Monday, Aug. 6 and officially cease all operations on Thursday, Sept. 20.
That note thanked customers for their loyalty. The later note reversed the decision.
Blockbuster, Inc., provides home video and game rental services through video rental stores, as well as DVD-by-mail, streaming video on demand and kiosks.
The first Blockbuster store opened in 1985 in Dallas, Texas, and was founded by David Cook, who grew it and brought it public in 1987 when he won a court case against Nintendo which enabled the chain to rent video games.
Blockbuster became a multi-billion-dollar company and in 1994 was purchased by Viacom for $8.4 billion.
Blockbuster expanded in the United Kingdom during the 1990s and in 1994 acquired a stake in Spelling Entertainment Group, eventually taking full ownership of the company run by producer Aaron Spelling.
In 2004, Blockbuster separated from Viacom and introduced online DVD subscriptions.
But by March 2010, Blockbuster was in talks of selling its European operations, issuing a bankruptcy statement that same month.
That September, Blockbuster filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to significant losses, $900 million of debt, and competition from Netflix, Redbox and video-on-demand services.
Blockbuster planned to keep its 3,300 stores open but was expected to close more than 900 by the end of 2010.
That December, the company announced it would close an additional 182 stores by April 2011.
But when February 2011 rolled around, Blockbuster and its creditors had not come up with a Chapter 11 exit plan. The company could be sold and admitted it may face liquidation.
A month later, the U.S. Department of Justice recommended Blockbuster liquidate.
Dish Network won Blockbuster in an auction for $320 million, but it might only keep 500 stores open, compared to the more than 4,000 Blockbuster once operated nationwide.
Dish Network announced earlier this year it would close unprofitable stores, and other ones as the company regroups.
At its peak, Blockbuster boasted up to 60,000 employees.
Today, there are less than 900 stores nationwide.