Raleigh’s final remaining Blockbuster video rental store will close for good Jan. 12 as the company shuts down its retail presence nationwide.
The store in Wakefield Commons shopping center on Falls of Neuse Road has already rented its last movie and is in full liquidation mode. DVDs that once rented for several dollars a night are being sold for $1, and even the clerks’ computer monitors have price tags.
The company has been through Chapter 11 bankruptcy in recent years as it faces stiff competition from Netflix and Redbox. All 300 retail stores around the country are now closing, though the Blockbuster On Demand streaming service will continue to operate.
In the Triangle, Blockbuster operated about two dozen stores at the chain’s peak about a decade ago. One by one, the others have closed, leaving only three as the chain shuts down: the Wakefield location, one in Fuquay-Varina and one in western Cary.
At the Wakefield store this week, bargain-hunting movie fans browsed the shelves, which were also on sale along with the films they held. Signs advertising the liquidation covered the windows, but the store employees had decorated the registers with Christmas stockings bearing their names. They’ve held out longer than their counterparts at the other shuttered Blockbusters throughout Raleigh.
But despite Blockbuster’s demise, Raleigh film buffs can still rent a movie from a live person. Locally owned North American Video still has rental stores open next to Harris Teeter on Western Boulevard and in Cameron Village.