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Tuesday, Jun 6, 2023

Eight Blockbusters Closing in Valley Area

The greater Valley will lose eight Blockbuster outlets that could put some 40,000 square-feet of retail space back onto the market, as the money-losing video rental chain is closed down by its owner. Stores will be closed in Camarillo, Simi Valley, Saugus, Burbank, Sherman Oaks, Mission Hills, Van Nuys and Canoga Park. There also a handful of others that have sat vacant for years. The retail space for each store averages about 5,000 square feet, but it won’t be hard to fill, said retail broker Matthew May, president of May Realty Advisors in Los Angeles. “When they came into the market, they took up the best locations and paid the best rents,” he said. “I don’t think you’ll have any issues filling those spaces.” May said that a variety of users could seek the space, including home furnishings and high-end pet stores. One more advantageous play for landlords, he said, may be chopping up the space. Blockbuster opened its first store in 1985 in Dallas, and at its peak had about 9,000 outlets. It was purchased in 1994 by New York media conglomerate Viacom Inc. for about $8.4 billion, before being spun off in 2004. Like its former competitor Hollywood Video, which shut down in May 2010, Blockbuster’s video rental model has been demolished by the rise of Netflix, cable video-on-demand and internet rental services, such Amazon Instant Video, and kiosk rental services such as Redbox. Blockbuster was purchased out of bankruptcy in April 2011 by Dish Network Corp. of Englewood, Colo. Dish plans to close the remaining 300 stores by early January and shutter its DVD-by-mail service before the end of the year. “This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment,” said Dish Chief Executive Joseph Clayton in a statement. Blockbuster will continue to be offer video rentals via its Blockbuster @Home and Blockbuster on Demand options through Dish, which streams video content on TV’s, computers, and mobile devices.

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