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Blockbuster stores closing in January, owner Dish Network ending streaming service too

Blockbuster, once the top spot to find video

Blockbuster, once the top spot to find video entertainment, is closing its 300 remaining stores in the United States, its owner Dish Network announced Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013. This spot is in Racine, Wis. Credit: AP, 2010

Blockbuster, which only "yesterday" commanded the attention of anyone who had something called a VCR and who didn't want to spend one more night watching a rerun of "Murder, She Wrote," is closing down.

Dish Network Corp., which owns the rental chain, announced the news Wednesday. Most of the remaining stores, 300 total, will be shuttered by early January, with about 50 franchises around the country remaining open.

A number of locations around Long Island have already closed down over the past few years though the Coram and Elmont locations are still around. Even in recent years they seemed to be everywhere - Smithtown, Ronkonkoma, Patchogue, Selden, Merrick - and the stores were vast... Now, gone. 

It's a sad announcement certainly -- except, I suppose, to customers who still have huge outstanding late fee penalties (remember those?) or the dozens, hundreds, thousands of mom-and-pop video stores put down by the advent of 'buster -- but inevitable given everything that's happened to "home entertainment" over the last 12 to 16 months. The revolution swept over -- then swept aside -- Blockbuster, which tried to get into streaming, but too-little-too-late. The chain's streaming service will shut down in December.

"This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment," Dish Network CEO Joseph Clayton said in a statement Wednesday.

Dish Network is trying to keep the Blockbuster brand alive through an Internet video-streaming service that rents movies and TV shows by title, for a set viewing time.

  Meanwhile, for a trip down Blockbuster Nostalgia Lane - and a strange lane and trip they are  - check out this excellent post from "Entertainment Weekly's" James Hibberd who cites the ten-things-we-won't-miss. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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