Movie buffs and sitcom enthusiasts have about a month left to shop at Forest Park’s last standing video rental store.
The Blockbuster at 109 Harlem Ave. was plastered last week with massive store closing signs, and according to the commercial real estate broker in charge of leasing the space, the store is expected to be out by Oct. 1.
Blockbuster stood on the 26,730-
square-foot site for nearly 20 years after having replaced a Sizzler restaurant, and before that a Rustler Steakhouse, said Larry Locascio of Champion Commercial Realty in River Forest.
“To keep afloat, Blockbuster has made the decision to close certain properties,” Locascio said. “It’s no secret that Blockbuster has had a lot of financial trouble in recent years. A lot of their expense is tied up in these leases. We are all aware of their competition that does not have a business model like that, such as Netflix and Redbox.”
Catie O’Brien, a 20-year-old from Forest Park, said she won’t miss the Blockbuster store too much.
“When we watch movies here, we just watch movies we have, Redbox or what’s on TV,” she said. “We might buy cheap movies from [Blockbuster] if they’re on sale.”
Jeff Mosenson, an avid film fan, also said he wouldn’t be affected by the store’s closing.
“What I can’t get on Netflix, I just get off the Internet,” the 30-year-old Forest Parker said. “Also, the library has movies that can be rented free of charge.”
A manager working at Blockbuster declined to comment for this story. A spokesperson for the Dallas-based company said she could not comment on individual store closings, but she e-mailed the Review the following statement:
“We have previously stated that we are in the process of recapitalizing the company, and reducing the number of stores in the U.S. is part of that effort. Blockbuster content is available through a combination of full-service stores and automated retail locations,” including kiosks, Blockbuster by mail, Blockbuster OnDemand and for digital download through www.blockbuster.com.