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Fade to black: Blockbuster video stores closing

Published On: Dec 24 2013 02:22:49 PM CST   Updated On: Nov 07 2013 08:09:29 PM CST
CHICO, Calif. -

Blockbuster video, once a staple of home entertainment, has reached the final credits.

Dish network, which owns Blockbusters nationwide, is closing the chain's 300 remaining U.S.-based stores, including the one in Chico.

Blockbuster customer and Chico resident Bonnie Pickett watches a movie every day.  Thursday morning, Pickett learned that the Blockbuster store on Mangrove Avenue is going out of business.  It's a plot twist she didn’t see coming.  

“I didn't know they were closing,” said Pickett.

This Blockbuster will stop renting movies Saturday.  One full-time and eight part-time workers will be out of jobs.  Movie lovers like Pickett will have to find a new venue to get their film fix.

“There's Netflix if you want to wait for something to come in the mail,” said Pickett.   “I like coming here because I could look and see what I wanted to get.”

Changing times finally caught up with Blockbuster, which faced stiff competition from other video venues like Netflix and Redbox.   The loss of Blockbuster is already being dealt with by its soon-to-be former customers like Don Hopkins.

“I'll probably switch to Netflix or something,” said Hopkins.

Some movie fans don't like purchasing online.  Barbara Lams prefers touching the merchandise before renting.

“I want to be able to come and pick out movies,” said Lams.  “I want to look at them and I want to read on the back what it's about.”

For those who like a happy ending to a story or movie, there is one.  Locally-owned video store All The Best Video on Cohasset Road will now likely see an increase in business as movie buffs will now go there to look for their favorite movies.

The Chico Blockbuster will liquidate its stock about one week after it stops renting videos Saturday.  Customers will be able to purchase movies they’ve wanted to own.