Broadway Blockbuster joins chain’s wave of nationwide closures

Blockbuster, Indeed, originally uploaded by sea turtle.

With snow and ice coating Capitol Hill — and more on the way — it might be a nice idea to snuggle in with a good movie at home. If you’re a Broadway Blockbuster customer, you had better enjoy it while you can. According to store employees with permission to talk about the closure, the financially troubled chain is shutting down its Broadway location in mid-February.

The store at 1514 Broadway will operate as normal for a while longer until a liquidation begins on January 23rd, we’re told. We’ve asked for more information about the closure from Blockbusters corporate parent, Denver-based Dish Network, but they’re still checking into what they can tell us.

No details were provided on the number of employees who will be without jobs from the Broadway Blockbuster’s closure.

What comes next for the 7,400 square-foot retail store is unknown. Land owner Robert Rahe has applied for a permit to convert office space behind the Blockbuster and its Taco Del Mar neighbor into retail space. Rahe has some challenging tenants these days as the Mexican food chain entered bankruptcy in 2010. We’ve also found a permit for the retail building for a “Natural Smoke” business — presumably a smoke shop is lined up for at least part of the building. The most recent tobacco shop to open on Broadway was Seattle Cigar & Tobacco in part of the old Bailey Coy space.

The Blockbuster closure is part of a nationwide shuttering of the video rental locations as Dish cuts costs and cuts bait on a business model that no longer seems to scale for the big chains. Other Seattle-area closures include West Seattle. Video rental isn’t just a challenging business for the big guys with the growth of Netflix and Red Box. We reported on the shutdown of 15th Ave E’s Video Connection in 2010. But when the big guys go, they go fast and can leave a sizable gap. The Broadway retail space abandoned by Hollywood Video following its middle-of-the-night departure in November 2009 remains empty two years later.

Not everybody has given up on rental, however. Third Man Video moved to E Pine from Pioneer Square in January 2010. And indies 15th Ave Video and Broadway Video continue to serve their areas of the Hill.

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20 thoughts on “Broadway Blockbuster joins chain’s wave of nationwide closures

  1. Is a dying business with the likes of redbox and mail order, loved that I could take my blockbuster online rentals in and swap for in store, the selection is easier to browse too than online. Oh well, on to iTunes and redbox. The staff there is always pretty nice too, best of luck to them, sucks finding work.

  2. I agree, ANeighbor. The great online selection, coupled with being able to bring the mail-order disc back to the store and immediately swap for a new one, made Blockbuster’s online offering way better for me than Netflix. Plus they don’t charge more for BluRay, either. I might keep the mail subscription, but I’ll miss the nice employees in the Broadway store, too.

  3. Rental of physical media is ugly, wasteful, and stupid. Most entertainment is so ephemeral that turning it into actual objects is absurd. To encode a film onto a DVD is to enshrine dust.

  4. it lasted this long. Whenever anybody ever comes to visit me (either from out of town or other parts of Seattle) the first thing they say is “Is that a Blockbuster?!”

    I’m pretty sure the QA Blockbuster closed down ~2 years ago.

  5. Broadway Market Video is a great store with great employees and has supported the Capitol Hill and Broadway community in a number of ways for years. There are a number of us who prefer human interaction and will always choose a storefront local business in making decisions about how to spend our cash. Broadway Market Video rocks.

  6. Have you heard about this great place where you can borrow DVDs, music and books FOR FREE? The staff is really nice and helpful too. It’s called The Library. Love it. Use it.

  7. I love the staff there, but I hate that I have to know the entire cast in a film in order to find it. In their defense, if you ask them where a title is, they don’t just tell you, they go over with you to find it.

  8. Don’t tell people about the library! It takes long enough to get stuff as it is…

    I did have an acct at BB, but really missed the Hollywood Video more. They were closer to me, cheaper, bigger selection. Still use BW Video too if I want somethiing fast.

  9. hooray 4 broadway video. hope they stay in business a long time. evil redbox. how can people support a machine when it puts human beings out of work. the stores that have redboxes DO NOT NEED THEM FOR REVENUE. ITS A SIMPLE CASE OF GREED!!! i hope people realize how important it is 2 support local businesses, where $ goes back into the community.

  10. It’s more than obvious that the decision makers
    at Blockbuster are itiots…
    Capital Hill’s population density makes as much
    sense as stupid as ” As fishing in a dead lake, with
    a gill net “…

    Rod Severson