The Madras Blockbuster is open for business.While Blockbuster corporate stores are closing nationwide, the stores in Madras and the rest of Central Oregon will stay open, according to Sandi Harding, general manager.

Ken and Debbie Tisher, who own the five Blockbuster video stores in Central Oregon, released a statement after Dish Network announced it would be closing the remainder of its corporate stores by the end of January. “That does not affect our business, as far as us leaving our doors open,” the Tishers said.

Since their businesses are franchises, they can operate independently.

“The Central Oregon stores are run as a franchise, and the owners live right here in Bend. They’ve had these stores for 22 years,” Harding said, adding, “We don’t know the ins and outs yet, but we will remain open throughout all of it.”

Harding, who makes regular visits to the Madras Blockbuster store, said signs were placed on the regional store counters right away so customers wouldn’t be alarmed.

The Fishers leased the former Hollywood Video store in 2010, when that chain went out of business, and converted it to a Blockbuster store.

“We’ve been excited to move into Madras and it’s been great. I haven’t met a customer I haven’t been delighted to talk to in Madras,” Harding said.

Nationwide, Dish Network, Blockbuster’s parent company, bought Blockbuster when it filed for bankruptcy in April 2011, then last January closed 300 stores. This January they will close the remaining 300 corporate retail stores. Dish Network indicated the move was due to the popularity of digitally distributed videos, as opposed to store fronts or mailed DVDs.

“Hopefully, we will stay just the way we are, but you never know,” Harding said as they wait for the situation to unfold.

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