Right Now, Only Two Dallas Blockbusters to Survive. Everyone Else In "Wait and See" Mode.

prestonroyalblockbuster.jpg
The longstanding Preston Royal Shopping Center Blockbuster, which may be about to go the way of Betamax
In the wake of news that Dish Network's looking to keep only a few hundred of Blockbuster's brick-and-mortar locations once the deal's sealed Thursday, several Friends of Unfair Park living in North Dallas have asked: What will become of the Preston Royal location? It's a good question -- not only because it's one of the oldest and busiest in the city (yes, even now), but because for years that was the location in which the company beta-tested its latest gewgaws.

From the looks of court docs filed Saturday, Dish only intends to keep two Dallas Blockbusters: the ones at 3501 McKinney and 4535 Frankford. But that could change: Dish's attorneys have told landlords that nothing's final till Thursday, and that there's a small chance locations not included in the weekend filing will re-appear on the to-keep list come week's end. Which does nothing to settle the frayed nerves of employees at Preston Royal, the normally jam-packed location on Hillcrest across from SMU and the close to 1,000 other locations here and nationwide awaiting Judgment Day.

Jackie Miller Stewart, president of Henry S. Miller Interests Inc., which owns Preston Royal, tells Unfair Park the company started planning for this day long ago: "We've budgeted the property this year with and without a turnover in that space." A Friend of Unfair Park in retail real-estate says it's likely Dish is ditching the Preston Royal and University Park properties, not to mention another busy location at Parker and the Dallas North Tollway, due to high rent.

"We're not too worried about it, as we feel we can lease the space," Stewart says of Preston Royal, which finally lost its across-the-street neighbor Borders Books a few days ago. "It's a great location with fantastic visiblity. In the short term it would definitely be strenuous with the renovation, but in the long term there could be a lot of upside. We're not worried about it. I don't want to say what our preference would be, because at this point, I don't have one. We're in a wait-and-see move and have been for some time.

"But it's been there a long time: That's the sad part -- they tried so hard to make it work, and I do admire them for trying everything they could to make the model work. I still have my Blockbuster account and would be glad for them to stay. We'll wait and see."

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13 comments
KSK
KSK

The photo caption is ironic, because Blockbuster refused to stock Beta taps back in the '80s.

EastDallas4Life
EastDallas4Life

I'm pretty sure we all have a Blockbuster account. It's like cancelling a credit card-- it's a ton easier to cut it up and throw it in the trash than to be guilted every step of cancellation.

Howard
Howard

This could be an opportunity for a good mom & pop shop, perhaps Premiere Video, to expand to a few more locations throughout Dallas. Netflix and Redbox are great, but it's still nice to have a few physical store locations which have extensive collections of harder to find, unique offerings.

Cujo
Cujo

I'm pissed they lasted this long. I'd hoped they would have made fuckedcompany.com's Hall of Fame about 10 years ago.

LaceyB
LaceyB

@John, have you seen the "Community Favorites" section? It's PERFECT for our community (on McKinney), and gets a dang amount of play for a "middle shelf". It's the movies that are so horrible, not the stores. There's no hope until, dunno when, "Blue Valentine" comes rolling onto DVD. Gonna be a long, hot summer.

John_McKee
John_McKee

McKinney Ave seems like an odd location to keep in a lot of ways, the perfect demographics that Blockbuster wants, yet the demographics that have firmly and I think forever have given up on the brand.

LaceyB
LaceyB

Just as I received my $3 off for old members to change back to Netflix, they up and keep my store. Halleloo, or why are they making this so hard?!

Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk

A few years ago, The Onion had a story about a museum showing the "late 90s video rental store." Looks like the fake news is now real news.

Matthew
Matthew

In this market/economy, you'd think landlords would be kissing butt to keep stores occupied even if it means reducing rent. If the Parker/Tollway store is busy but their rent is so high they can't turn a profit then DISH should negotiate that rent down. West Plano has lots of vacant property down at Park and up at Windhaven. If the shopping center where the Blockbuster is at thinks they could rent that space out quickly then they are delusional.

Rooster
Rooster

Blockbuster. meh.

Possibly the most mismanaged brand in the history of American business?....

Howard
Howard

Retail landlords are very delusional these days. One of the reasons why Borders closed so many of their stores in the most appealing locations (like West Village, which was actually doing decent I heard) is due to high rents.

Lakewooder
Lakewooder

I dunno about that. I mean, you're assuming the internet is gonna catch on.

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