Credits roll on NZ's last Blockbuster video store

The final credits are about to roll on New Zealand's last Blockbuster video store - and there won't be any need to rewind the tape.

The Dargaville store is selling off - rather than renting out - everything it has, including the shelves. 

"We just want to get everything cleared out of the building," owner Chris Cucurullo told The AM Show on Friday, the last day the store will be open.

"This is the last Blockbuster, working Blockbuster in the world... Bugger for me. I'm going to miss it. It's been something I've been loving for 26 years... I loved it."

There is actually another Blockbuster left, operating in Bend, Oregon. For the last year, it has wrongly claimed to be the last one in the world - but it appears it will be from this weekend.

Cucurullo blames the convenience offered by the internet for killing off his business.

"The internet just happened. People have become lazy. They went to the apps and they wanted things delivered to their door and we just couldn't do it. They don't come into brick-and-mortar stores anymore.

"It was a good time back then. We used to fly through the videos well and truly, Beta and VHS, then it came to DVDs and it slowed down a little bit, then Blu-rays, and they really slowed it down and disappeared, virtually."

Back in the '80s and early '90s, Cucurullo said video stores made money "hand-over-fist". You couldn't download movies then - they were only available on physical cassettes, and internet speeds were slow -  but that changed when DVDs arrived in the late 1990s. 

DVDs could be converted much more easily into digital-only files with minimal or no loss of quality. As broadband expanded in the early 2000s movie piracy became more common, and the arrival of Blu-ray discs in the mid-2000s did little to stem the tide.

"[Most of the DVDs have] only been hired once, maybe twice," Cucurullo said. "The Blu-rays barely at all."

Some of the movies Blockbuster is hoping to get rid of on Friday include I Tonya, Immortals and Insidious: Chapter 3. DVDs start at $1, Blu-ray discs at $6. 

"Just great movies," said Cucurullo, before admitting "some of them are a bit bad".