Soldotna too small for big Blockbuster promise

In this Nov. 10, 2015 file photo, John Oliver performs at the 9th Annual Stand Up For Heroes event in New York. John Oliver of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” is trying to give one of the last Blockbuster Video locations in the world in Alaska a little help in drawing customers instead of streaming movies online. Oliver offered Sunday, April 15, 2018, to send the store the jockstrap that Russell Crowe wore in “Cinderella Man” and other movie clothing obtained by the show at a celebrity auction. (Photo by Greg Allen/Invision/AP, File)

John Oliver made a promise to Anchorage’s last Blockbuster Video, but despite the fervor of the Soldotna community, all of Russell Crowe’s memorabilia will stay up north.

Sunday night, on his HBO show “Last Week Tonight,” Oliver offered to send the Anchorage Blockbuster Video location a collection of movie props obtained by the show at an auction held by Crowe, star of movies such as “Gladiator.”

Oliver’s episode focused on the closure of multiple Blockbusters in Alaska, during which the host joked about Crowe’s jockstrap from the movie “Cinderella Man.”

“You know, buy Russell Crowe’s jockstrap and send it to one of the last remaining Blockbusters in Alaska. Even that sentence is absolutely incredible to say out loud,” Oliver said during the show.

With the closing of the North Pole location earlier this year, there are three Blockbusters left in Alaska in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Soldotna. Not wanting to be looked over, the Soldotna store created a Twitter account in an attempt to contact Oliver.

“Hello, I’m a supervisor at Soldotna Blockbuster Alaska. We do have three stores currently open, if you’d like to contact us about this Merch our number is (907)-260-3460. I made this account because the residents of Soldotna won’t stop talking about it,” the account tweeted.

Unfortunately for Soldotna, the store is too small for a shrine to Crowe, said Kevin Daymude, who is the general manager of all the remaining Alaska Blockbuster Video locations and has worked with the company since 1991.

“Poor Soldotna just does not have the room for it,” Daymude said. “Maybe we’ll transfer the jock strap around, that’s the big item that everyone wants.”

Daymude said he has been in contact with the “Last Week Tonight” crew and is trying to finalize the details.

“It’s one step at a time now,” he said. “You have to worry about the security, how we’re going to display it, where we’ll display it.”

Once the memorabilia arrives, though, Daymude will be sure to let the public know.

“Without a doubt, we’re getting plenty of phone calls so we’ll put it on Facebook and we’ll advertise about it,” Daymude said. “We’re just waiting now.”

Reach Kat Sorensen at ksorensen@peninsulaclarion.com

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