Bankrupt video rental chain Blockbuster Inc plans to close 182 stores by the end of the first quarter of next year as it tries to find a way back on its feet.

The largest U.S. video rental chain plans to close 72 stores by January 1 and 110 more in the first quarter of 2011, according to documents filed on Friday in Manhattan's bankruptcy court.

Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy in September, weighed down by its debts and stung by video-on-demand and competitors such as mail-order pioneer Netflix Inc and Redbox Inc, a Coinstar Inc unit that rents movies through kiosks.

Blockbuster has closed about 1,000 stores in recent years as it tries to cut costs, but still had about 2,900 in the United States when it filed for bankruptcy.

The company is renegotiating leases with thousands of landlords, said Patricia Sullivan, a Blockbuster spokeswoman.

She said the company will emerge from bankruptcy by the beginning of the second quarter of next year, with fewer but more profitable stores.

The company entered bankruptcy with a plan that would put billionaire investor Carl Icahn and his hedge fund partners in control of the company when it emerges.

The case is In re: 10-14997, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York.

(Reporting by Tom Hals. Additional reporting by Santosh Nadgir in Bangalore. Editing by Robert MacMillan)