This story does not have a blockbuster ending.
Blockbuster Video at 1730 Crosby Avenue after 15 years will be closing its doors before the end of February as it winds down its lease, the building’s landlord confirmed. The store is the latest of the chain to close, with a location on E. Tremont Avenue near the Cross Bronx Expressway also shuttered several years ago as the company undergoes a bankruptcy reorganization and a purchase by Redbox, a DVD renter that dispenses the latest Hollywood releases through kiosks at high traffic volume locations.
Speculation is already underway about the 4000 sqaure-foot location’s next tenant.
“I am looking for a bank or a national chain store that could pay higher rent,” property owner Anthony Scovotti said. “They are closing all of the stores. They once had five thousand stores countrywide. I would prefer that they stay.”
The store was previously a independent-run pharmacy prior to Blockbuster, Scovotti said. That pharmacy closed in part because of competition from Genovese, which has since become Rite Aid, Scovotti stated.
Ironically, it was Blockbuster that led to the closing of many mom and pop video stores in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and the location appears to be closing due to changing technology that allows people to access video on demand without leaving their televisions, Scovotti said.
“Blockbuster ran its course, no one is renting videos anymore,” Scovotti said. “I wish that they were still there, but that is the way technology has changed.”
Scovotti believes a bank may be suitable for the location because they would join an existing number of similar businesses.
With four banks on the Crosby Avenue commercial corridor already, another type of business would be better in terms of attracting more shoppers, said Sherry Scanlon, president of the Pelham Bay Merchants Association.
“I think that there are plenty of banks: they pay their rent and sign long leases,” Scanlon said. “I am thinking a bookstore, maybe even a Barnes & Noble, or a Staples would be good for the neighborhood. People would not have to drive all the way to Co-op City.”
From the perspective of the merchants, a ladies clothing store would also be welcome addition to the commercial corridor, or a fish store, Scanlon said.
Other Blockbuster locations still in operation in the Bronx include 2217 Westchester Avenue and 2554 White Plains Road. A spokesman for the company did not respond to phone calls.