How Blockbuster Video Held On for So Long in El Paso

The video rental giant folded in 2013, but El Paso’s four Blockbusters have stayed open. Now, those stores are rolling the closing credits.

By Becky FogelApril 13, 2016 3:05 pm| ,

When Blockbuster video first opened, it seemed downright revolutionary.

A 1990s commercial for the one-time video empire says: “Over 10,000 videos. Free evening rentals so no rush, no hassle. 24/7 quick-drop return, open late every night. Now the perfect video store is popping up all over the country.”

I’d bet the last time you thought about a Blockbuster was when you stopped by one of their clearance sales. But as recently as last month, 30 Blockbuster franchises were operating in the country – four in El Paso.

How was the brick-and-mortar video store business still thriving in West Texas? Robby Gray, reporter for El Paso Inc., took a look at how the video store biz managed to thrive in this West Texas metropolis.

He says the four stores in El Paso are among the last standing of the Blockbuster franchise.

“The owner here finally had to throw in the towel,” he says. “Right now they’re liquidating the inventory so they’re holding sales and such to sell off the DVDs at the stores here.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– Who held the stores in El Paso and why the survived there so long

– How these franchisees kept their stores open after their parent corporation sold its last 300 stores in 2013

– What a 99-cent offer from local Hollywood Video stores and Blu-Ray discs had to do with helping the El Paso stores stay open