Stadium Village Blockbuster Video closes

Daniel Groth

After losing their neighborhood Blockbuster Video store this week, students living near Stadium Village will have to find alternative movie sources.

The video rental shop on Washington Avenue Southeast closed Sunday due to insufficient business, according to Blockbuster spokesman Randy Hargrove.

“Unfortunately, we just didn’t have enough traffic to warrant keeping that store open,” he said. “That was the bottom line.”

Caribou Coffee will occupy about half of the video store’s former space, said Roeun Im, store manager for the Burger King two doors down. He said he doesn’t know which company will inhabit the other half, but heard the coffee shop was moving in.

Although Blockbuster currently has no plans to open a store nearby, there are still plenty of Minneapolis locations, Hargrove said.

The closest Blockbuster location to campus is now on University and Hamline avenues in St. Paul, about four miles from Stadium Village. There is a Hollywood Video on 5th Street in Dinkytown, which some superblock residents said they have begun using.

Dental hygiene first-year student Ashley Maurer recently bought a Hollywood Video membership after finding out about Blockbuster’s closing.

“Going to Dinkytown is such a long walk,” she said. “I think they should reopen the Blockbuster because it was a convenient location.”

Political science senior Sarah Finstad, who lives near Stadium Village, said she is very upset by the store’s closing.

“In the past, I probably went there biweekly,” she said. “I’ll probably have to resort to going online now.”

The closing was unexpected, Finstad said.

“You wouldn’t think they weren’t getting business, being that it was right on a college campus,” she said. “But maybe students were put off by how expensive Blockbuster is.”

First-year student Michael Hessel-Mial, a superblock resident, said he won’t miss the store.

“Most freshmen don’t rent movies for economic reasons,” he said. “And since we can get videos from the front desk of our dorms for free, there’s never been much incentive to go to Blockbuster.”

Genetics junior Andrea Guitart said she still has a video from the store and doesn’t know what to do with it.

Videos can still be returned to the location’s drop-box, but the policy toward those who don’t return the videos will be “lenient,” Hargrove said.

Cheng Wan, manager of Jasmine Express, a Chinese restaurant in the same plaza, said he was surprised Blockbuster closed.

“With so many students, this area is good for business, so I have no idea why they would close,” he said. “It might be because a lot of students use the Internet now to get videos.”

Jasmine Express might lose some business due to the closing, Wan said.

“Many people went to Blockbuster and then stopped here for something to eat,” he said. “But that number will probably decrease a bit.”