Today final day for movie rentals at store

Almost a year after Blockbuster in Kahului closed its doors, the Kihei store – the last of the Blockbusters in Maui County – announced it will be closing as well.

Today will be the last day for video rentals, and a liquidation sale is planned to start Thursday at 10 a.m.

Earlier this week, Dish Network Corp., which bought Blockbuster out of bankruptcy court in 2011, announced that it will close about 300 Blockbuster locations around the country by early January. Fifty franchised stores will remain open. Last year, more than 500 retail stores were closed nationwide.

The announcement came as a shock to the six employees working at the Kihei store, which has been in operation for more than a decade, according to a store official who declined to be identified.

The store carries thousands of movie and video game titles, and services about 2,000 customers per month, she said.

“It is very much a part of the community. We don’t want to leave, but unfortunately, from the business side, we have to go. I think a lot of people are going to miss us.”

While the store and mail service rentals will be shut down, customers may still access the video on-demand service, she said.