Blockbuster Finally Bites the Dust; All St. Louis Stores to Close

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Your unborn children will never know what it means to rent a movie from Blockbuster. - TREBOMB ON FLICKR
  • Trebomb on Flickr
  • Your unborn children will never know what it means to rent a movie from Blockbuster.

Blockbuster is closing the handful of stores still open in Missouri by next year in a third and final round of cuts eliminating the video store's retail operations nationwide.

DISH Network, the owner of Blockbuster, announced Wednesday it is shuttering 300 retail stores and ending the video-by-mail service designed to compete in the age of Redbox and Netflix.

Daily RFT found seven Blockbuster stores still open in or near River City: on Chippewa Street in St. Louis; and in Webster Groves; Wentzville; Maryland Heights; Festus; Troy; and Alton, Illinois. Those and all Blockbusters will be gone by January 2014.

Now our Blockbusters will look like this. - DAVE DUGDALE ON FLICKR

"This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment," says Joseph P. Clayton, DISH president and chief executive officer. "Despite our closing of the physical distribution elements of the business, we continue to see value in the Blockbuster brand, and we expect to leverage that brand as we continue to expand our digital offerings."

Blockbuster closed 10 of Missouri's 26 locations in February 2012, including stores in St. Ann and O'Fallon, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. A year later, the company closed 300 locations nationwide, cutting 3,000 jobs, according to the St. Louis Business Journal, leaving 14 stores in the St. Louis metro area.

See DISH Network's full statement after the jump. Blockbuster's parent company Dish Network sent the following release Wednesday:

DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH) today announced that its subsidiary, Blockbuster L.L.C., will end its retail and by mail DVD distribution operations by early-January 2014. The company will close its approximately 300 remaining U.S.-based retail stores, as well as its distribution centers.

"This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment," said Joseph P. Clayton, DISH president and chief executive officer. "Despite our closing of the physical distribution elements of the business, we continue to see value in the Blockbuster brand, and we expect to leverage that brand as we continue to expand our digital offerings."

The Blockbuster By Mail service will end mid-December and will serve existing customers until that time.

Over the past 18 months, Blockbuster has divested itself of assets in the United States, as well international assets, including operations in the United Kingdom and Scandinavia. DISH will continue to support Blockbuster's domestic and international franchise operations, relationships and agreements.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.

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