Lake Avenue Blockbuster Shutting Down

The movie rental franchise's Altadena location is going out of business

The Blockbuster Video location on Lake Avenue is closing its doors, according to signs posted at the store location.

The closure means the closest Blockbusters to Altadena will be on Foothill Boulevard in Pasadena in the Hastings Ranch shopping center and on Foothill Boulevard in La Canada Flintridge.

The chain reported in bankruptcy filings last Spring that it had about 1,700 locations in the U.S, but a simple Google News search shows widespread location closures across the country since then.

The location is advertising an "everything must go" sale at the Altadena location as of Thursday afternoon.

Brian January 06, 2012 at 04:49 AM
A few 'Redboxes' are located at 7-11's around the area. DVD rentals are $1.31 total (tax included) using debit card. Redboxes are also at some Albertsons. Look online for more info and locations. It is too bad Altadena will have another empty building. I think it is time for Altadenans to start thinking about incorporating into a City like La Canada did years ago. The trend we're are seeing isn't good for home prices and for residents who want to enjoy this area nearby without having to drive miles downtown into traffic etc. As I say West Altadena near Lincoln and Woodbury is looking ALOT cleaner and attractive than East Altadena's paltry shopping / dining options, which is a damn shame when you consider the home prices in the East Altadena area. Altadena should have all of the ammenities that La Canada has (A Traders, Coffee House / Starbucks, Bike Shop, Steakhouses, etc.) The hardware store on Maripose has done a good job of remodling and carrying many more useful items saving a drive downtown. At some point, East Altadena home prices will begin to suffer as a result of this problem of blight AND a pitiful lack of decent shopping ammenities. A good start would be to pester Kroger about adding a soup bar and Deli to the bare-bones Ralphs on Lake Ave. If we can get that simple addition done with Kroger, then the next step is a store remodel by way of continuous pestering.
mister altadena January 06, 2012 at 06:12 AM
Not sure that shoddy landscaping was a factor in the closure. Stores were bound to close since Dish Network purchased Blockbuster in bankruptcy court earlier this year. Almost 1000 of the 1,700 will close.
Revvell January 06, 2012 at 04:08 PM
I'd love to open a training center there and I've alerted Veggie Grill about it. They said they'd send their location scouts out.
Peter Freeman January 06, 2012 at 04:38 PM
We need a sit down restraunt chain there. Anyone would do at this point.
Steve Lamb January 06, 2012 at 07:52 PM
The building sucks. Before it was built Robin salzer was kind of interested in a Altadena location. He wanted a screened dining room and just a kitchen- Southern Style. Did some sketches. But the County costs were so high for Altadena that he decided not to do it. This is our problem here- the county is complex, every department speaks with contrary demands to the other and they are very very hostile to people attempting to bring them increased local employment and revenue.While this building could be repurposed for diner and would work well with the actual amount of traffic Altadena likely will generate, its underparked according to the code, Only developers working with the CDC get to wave that...The Zoning code is not protecting the public, its just fleecing anyone who wants to do anything. Too bad they tore out all that historic stuff for this ugly development that will now be empty like so much else....
Lynnanne Hanson-Miller January 06, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Yes, why is it that TJ's or Sprouts aren't interested in our community? Where are looking that's telling them it's not worth it to have stores here? Would love to have one or both of them in Rite Aid's spot; these days that shopping center makes the whole area look derelict.
ed meyers January 06, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Regarding TJ's, about 2 wks ago I spoke with a person at TJ's real esatate dep't. He said: TJ's looks for: 1. A location that sites on at least 1.5 acres, 2. A bldg no less than 12,000 sq.ft. 3. They need to consider the likely cannibalization of the 3 other local TJ's. 4. if Ralphs were to close, that would be an location that meets criteria #1 & 2. 5. He said the community has their/our ear closer to the ground than TJ's so if we know of sites opening up, let them know. 6. There is NO promise that a TJ's would open just b/c criteria #1 & 2 were met. We didn't discuss population demographics, household income etc. I just wanted to understand what's needed to put us in a postion to keep talking. Fresh n Easy's minimum store size is about 10,000 sq.ft. The oepn space near Rite Aid is about 6,000. I emailed Fresh n Easy anyway. I'll call Ralphs and report back.
Nico January 06, 2012 at 08:32 PM
What used to be there before the RITEAID building complex Steve? Were there little stores or was it housing?
ed meyers January 06, 2012 at 08:49 PM
OK, called Ralphs HQ. For now, I only spoke to a customer srv. person. Explained the situation at our Ralphs. Said there's no service deli, no bakery, no seafood/meat dep't (I think there's a small room in the back where they grind or cut some meat). Customer srv person asked me, "What DO they have if they don't have that?" I explained the empty lot next door. Btm line is someone will call me back. My msg will go to the store (not sure what good that does) and to the division supervisor. Next time I'm in the store, I'll approach the store director and see what he/she knows. My guess is that they'll say there's not enough room to expand w/in the current lot they have.....I'll report back when I know more.
Dr.Jon Postajian, Chiropractor January 06, 2012 at 08:52 PM
It's very sad. Blockbuster has been such a big part of our lives.... However, with the growth of our technology, many will be suffering the same fate. We will miss you, but never forget you!
djfrantic January 06, 2012 at 09:09 PM
I am thinking....drive through car wash!....that will save me any potential fight with the owner of THE APCO SITE
ed meyers January 06, 2012 at 09:38 PM
Got my c/b from Ralphs. Local store director would also like to see an expansion. She gets many requests for such. I would recommend that shoppers go to our local Ralphs, ask to see Kris/Chris the store director and make your request. An even better way is to call Ralphs at 888-437-3496. Go thru the phone menu until you get to a live operator. Explain what you'd like Ralphs to do. A msg will be sent to both the store director and a Division Supervisor. While nothing is guaranteed, let's start here and see what happens.
SteveB January 06, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Ed, Dan - Ed's comments/info here will be buried in this Blockbuster thread. It deserves it's own post/article. When I looked for housing here in '99, I looked at that dilapidated Ralph's, and said no way - but a number of sources said a new Ralph's was planned. That did not come to pass, clearly - but the result is I only go to Ralph's out of desperation.
Dan Abendschein (Editor) January 06, 2012 at 11:17 PM
@SteveB - If you think people would be interested in a discussion on expanding Ralph's (and I think they would be) I can certainly put one up. Perhaps something along the line of what features people would like to see in an expanded Ralph's? Any other ideas?
Dale Trader January 06, 2012 at 11:46 PM
This development, the Blockbuster building and the new housing behind it, is the site of one of the saddest episodes in recent Altadena history. A large Victorian was on this corner and as part of the legal settlement to allow the La Vina sub-division to go forward, the La Vina developers paid for the moving of the Victorian to the vacant lot south of the Altadena fire station, where it decayed on blocks for years; this Victorian was proposed to be renovated as an Altadena Community Center, but due to community squabbles it never happened. I'm sure Steve Lamb, an Altadena Town Council member at the time, can fill in the details for everyone. Altadena got an ugly development which became the Blockbuster/unremarkable housing development, the Myron Hunt designed La Vina Sanitorium was demolished and Altadena foothill open space the La Vina Sanitorium had occupied was covered with dense, high priced unremarkable housing, and the moved decaying Victorian was finally demolished leaving a scarred, hollowed out vacant lot still festering on the corner south of the Fire Station on North El Molino. It is very sad.....and more sadness seems to be coming.
Elizabeth J. Sawyer-Cunningham January 07, 2012 at 12:01 AM
It seems as if the supervisors don't care about Altadena or they would work harder at helping this area grow and improve. I've lived in the Pasadena/Altadena area more than 50 years and watched so many beautiful homes be torn down and replaced with ugly commercial buildings, or equally ugly developments. The Victorian that Blockbuster replaced was beautiful and would have made a wonderful historic community meeting place. l guess Antonovich has given up on Altadena.
Gary Edwards January 07, 2012 at 12:34 AM
also true is that much of the town is apathetic, unwilling, uninterested in improving the area. it's the same tired, vocal minority railing county gov't for keeping the town down while the vast majority don't know what the heck goes on. most residents want to be left alone to do as they wish. the trade off for that independence is you have the county as ur governing agency...... we made our bed, now we lie in it. change takes a long time, we're a diverse community who finds it hard to agree on things, which makes change that much harder to come by.
Steve Lamb January 07, 2012 at 02:20 AM
Gary- Its not the fault of the community. I design projects in Monrovia, Pasadena, Arcadia, San Marino, even Eagle Rock and Hollywood in addition to LA County. LA County has the building and planning departments from hell. They have in the past LOST my drawings, shipped them to Lancaster or Compton, Had them in as many as three geographic locations for one permit application, issued contrary instructions from the last plan check, told me I couldn't do the things they last demanded I do. Its a crazy place full of bat shit crazy employees. The fact that ANYTHING gets built in the County is an outright miracle! I don't think the citizens in Monrovia or Pasadena or Arcadia are any more engaged or any less apathetic on the whole than they are in Altadena. A large number of Altadenans think they live in Pasadena, so its not really like people are making some kind of choice for something other than a great house when they move here.
Gary Edwards January 07, 2012 at 02:57 AM
since bldg/planning dep't personnel don't seem to be card carrying members of mensa, i'd guess that anyone w/ a project has to exercise extreme patience since frustration will eventually set in. it just seems that when there's something going on, not many in town get involved or offer opinion. then, at the end, residents come out of the woodworks asking why they weren't contacted. i dunno, i don't expect much from gov't workers in general so it's hard to be let down.
Reggie Wilkins January 09, 2012 at 06:49 AM
What is our history? Echo mountain...what is our present...Eaton Canyon. We are about nature here not selling sandwiches or overpriced shoes. How do we turn this history into something good for Altadena? That is the challenge.
mister altadena January 09, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Overheard today while at this Blockbuster-- CUSTOMER (to STORE MGR) "So, what's gonna move in here?" STORE MGR reply "There was an Armenian guy in here the other day who was interested in putting a market here".
Steve Lamb January 10, 2012 at 12:12 AM
Small Armenian Markets are nifty. They also don't direclty compete with the majors. thats a win
Steve Lamb January 10, 2012 at 12:21 AM
Reggie- Y E S!!! Its about a Hiking, Mountain biking equestrian resort economy. We need accommodations for that and a willing Forest Service. Anything bad I said about LA County Planning and Zoning goes 600% more for the USFS and thats where Altadenas real problem is, Governed by people who have others to answer to than the residents and our present or future. Gary- Yes well there are levels of frustration. basically I know if I take a design job in LA County I will NOT MAKE any money and end up with a less than happy client. I have to do two jobs elsewhere to keep my head above water when dealing with LA County. Most people just won't bother on a commercial space with that for the amount of vehicular and foot traffic combined with the unrealistically high rents we have up here. Its all negative not much positive for the investor except all the public pent up desire.
Daniel E. Harlow January 10, 2012 at 03:18 AM
Actually I think you hit it on the head with the fact the rents are unrealistically high here in Altadena. We have been looking for some office space and up here and the rents are running between 1.50-2.00/sq ft for class B (or worse) office space. The reality is that for that amount I can get office space in Old Town Pasadena. Daniel
ed meyers January 10, 2012 at 04:09 AM
A quick online search yielded the following charts on avg lease per sq.ft in the area (site lumps Altadena & Pasadena together) for retail, industrial & office space: http://www.loopnet.com/Altadena_California_Market-Trends?Trends=AskingRentsFL&PropertyTypes=Multifamily,Office,Industrial,Retail The avg office space rent/mth is $21.93/yr ($1.83 sq.ft per mth). A quick check of rents in Altadena shows that landlords here are, in many cases, are asking for rents that are in the same ballpark as Pasadena even though Altadena offers less driving & foot traffic. List of available sites in Altadena: http://www.loopnet.com/xNet/MainSite/Listing/Search/SearchResults.aspx?linkcode=13890#/91001/All-Types/For-Lease/c!ARYCBAAGAg$AAECAQUBAkNB Renters/businesses will need to have shrewd negotiating skills to get better lease rates.
Dan Abendschein (Editor) January 10, 2012 at 04:39 AM
Interesting stuff, but there's a real difference between those three categories right? Obviously for retail you'd go Pasadena (though some neighborhoods in Pasadena are a little sparse on the foot traffic as well), and Altadena should be significantly cheaper for it to be competitive. But office seems like a different story... Pasadena has a whole lot of office space, lots of vacancies, whereas in Altadena, as far as I know, there is not a lot there. I can see the justification for similar rents on the basis of supply. Not sure what to say about industrial space...
ed meyers January 20, 2012 at 03:52 AM
FYI....I was in Block Buster today. Used DVDs (without the DVD "box") are down to $3.99. They're in the left & right front part of the store. DVDs in the box/jewel case are down to $6.99.
Pastor V. Pittman February 22, 2012 at 09:26 PM
That would work, since Pasadena is anti-church.
Steve Lamb February 22, 2012 at 11:29 PM
Yes this and the destruction of Scripps are two of the most tragic developments ever in Altadena.
Steve Lamb February 22, 2012 at 11:33 PM
Pastor Pittman- How do you mean Pasadena is anti-Church?


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