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Blockbuster to close 186 stores, including 15 in California

March 26, 2011|By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times

As it heads toward the auction block in early April to end its troubled bankruptcy process, Blockbuster Inc. is closing 186 stores nationwide.

The struggling home video chain based in Dallas revealed in court filings that it would reject the leases and abandon its properties at the end of the month in an attempt to reduce its ongoing losses.

Among the Blockbuster locations that will close are 15 in California, six of them in the Los Angeles area. Those stores are in El Segundo, Santa Ana, Newport Beach, Corona, Anaheim Hills and L.A.'s Larchmont neighborhood.

Before it entered bankruptcy in September, Blockbuster had 3,425 stores in the U.S.

Since a reorganization plan fell apart because of disagreements among creditors, Blockbuster has found itself assailed by movie studios, landlords and others that claim they are owed money. It will now be sold at an auction scheduled to take place April 4 in New York. A group of creditors has filed a "stalking horse" bid, intended to create a floor for other bids, of $290 million.

ben.fritz@latimes.com

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