Students looking to fill their nights with new releases and old favorites are going to have to venture farther off campus to do so.
The CampusTown Blockbuster store will close next month. The last day to rent movies is Oct. 11.
The shuttering of that store comes as the Dallas-based movie rental company looks to close up to 960 stores by the end of 2010.
With increased competition from low-cost movie rental vending machines, such as Redbox, and mail-order movie rental companies, such as Netflix, Blockbuster has been struggling for a few years.
Remaining merchandise in the store will be sold from Oct. 12 to Nov. 15.
According to the Journal Star, the store, which opened in 1993, was supposed to close last year, but was able to keep its doors open when its lease was renegotiated.
“Our mission is to build a multi-platform delivery system,” Blockbuster spokesman Randy Hargrove told the Journal Star. “Our stores are still very important but, as customers have gained new options, we’re changing, too.”
The company will make an attempt to reach customers through the mail, vending machines and stores, plus over the Internet.
Blockbuster is planning to expand the number of vending machines it has from 500 to 2,500 by the end of the year. By the end of 2010, there could be as many as 7,000, Hargrove said.
That 7,000 by the end of 2010 would compete with the 15,000 Redbox has right now, according to its Web site.
Redbox allows customers to rent movies from vending machines, often situated outside Walgreens or Wal-Mart stores, for $1 a night. The company recently expanded its offerings from new releases to old favorites.
The Redbox machine nearest campus is at the Walgreens store at 221 N. Western Ave. There are also machines in the East Peoria and University Street Wal-Mart stores.
Students who still want to go into an actual store can visit the other two area Blockbuster locations, one at 3517 N. University St., near the intersection of University and War Memorial Drive, or at 102 E. Washington St. in East Peoria.
Family Video and Hollywood Video each have locations nearby at 3218 W. Harman Highway and 3215 N. University St. respectively.