The manager of the last Blockbusters in Alaska speaks out on the death of the chain, nostalgic tourists, and Russell Crowe’s jockstrap

  • Blockbuster’s final two locations in Alaska closed for business earlier in July.
  • Prior to the closure, tourists flocked to the Blockbuster stores to take nostalgic photos and take a peek at Russell Crowe’s jockstrap, which was donated to the store by HBO and John Oliver.
  • Now, people are wondering what will happen to the jockstrap – and Blockbuster’s manager tells our new podcast, “Household Name,” that he’s sick of the question.
  • To subscribe to the podcast, click here.

The manager at the last remaining Blockbusters in Alaska is tired of talking about Russell Crowe’s jockstrap.

In May, John Oliver and HBO donated a bizarre assortment of Russell Crowe paraphernalia to an Anchorage Blockbuster, one of the two remaining locations of the video-rental chain in the state. Tourists traveled far and wide to see the garb, which included Crowe’s jockstrap from the movie “Cinderella Man” – but it ultimately wasn’t enough to save the location.

Earlier in July, Blockbuster Alaska announced that the last two stores in the state are closing up shop. But, manager Kevin Daymude has bigger concerns than the jockstrap.

“It kills me to hear everybody more concerned about that jockstrap than the customers that have been faithful to us since the 1990s and the employees that are losing their jobs,” Daymude told reporter Emily Russell in an upcoming episode of Business Insider’s new podcast, “Household Name.” “People just want to know about that stupid jockstrap.”

While Daymude said he was “shocked” by the closure, he has been preparing for the death of Blockbuster in Alaska – long a holdout in the chain’s extinction – for some time.

“Let’s be real, you have Netflix, you have Redbox,” he told Russell prior to the announcement of the stores’ closures.

“The economy is tough right now,” Daymude said. “So, people are still renting – but they aren’t renting as much.”

Daymude has worked at Blockbuster since 1991, and he saw the Alaska stores transform from a necessary stop for entertainment through the cold winter into a photo shoot for nostalgic tourists. He even started selling t-shirts and shipping them around the world, as Blockbuster fans far and wide have sought out remnants of the video-rental chain.

“People were coming out, taking pictures of Blockbuster, getting back on their tour bus and they go on their merry way,” Daymude said.

With the Blockbuster closing, Daymude isn’t sure what comes next. He is definitely staying in Alaska, and he might go back to school. And, as for the jockstrap, its future is similarly up in the air, but for now it still remains on display as the Alaska Blockbusters finish selling out their inventory before closing up shop for good.

To hear from Daymude and learn how Blockbuster managed to survive in Alaska for years after the chain went out of business, subscribe to “Household Name”, a new podcast from Business Insider premiering July 25. Subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or your favorite app.