The world’s last remaining Blockbuster video store is managing to keep the lights on, but not by continuing to “compete” in the movie rental space.
Located down in Bend, Oregon, this Blockbuster was one of the final beacons of the movie rental era. However, it hasn’t lost that essence as store manager, Sandi Harding, explores a new opportunity.
On Tuesday, it was revealed that the last remaining Blockbuster has been converted into a cinephile’s heaven and is available for rentals on Airbnb.
Now as much as the band The Buggles thought TV would “kill the radio star” in 1980, it is seemingly more fitting to say that streaming services killed the video store. With movie-goers opting for convenient streaming solutions like Netflix or Disney+, the brick and mortar stores for video rentals are a thing of the past.
It is the current movie-consuming landscape that led Harding to look at other possible income streams in order to keep the business afloat, while still clinging on to the “movie magic.”
“I’ve seen the highs and lows of this business, but nothing can replace going to the store with loved ones to browse the shelves and find a movie that suits whatever mood you’re in,” reads a statement from Harding on her store’s Airbnb page.
On the Last Blockbuster’s rental page, a description states that “you’re booking a night back in the 90s, but this time you won’t have to beg your parents to rent the latest horror flick–we’ll give you the keys to the entire store!”
While the shelves and the movie selection remains, a cozy living room space has been set up in the middle of the store. Guests are encouraged to browse the film library to find the perfect flick, before settling in for an ultimate viewing experience.
“Whether you want to stay up until sunrise or pass out on the couch, we’ve created the perfect space complete with a pull-out couch, bean bags and pillows for you to cozy up with “new releases” from the ‘90s.”
Harding is also highly encouraging guests to help themselves to snacks on location.
“As the last standing location in the world, our Blockbuster store is an ode to movie magic, simpler times and the sense of community that could once be found in BLOCKBUSTER locations around the world,” reads the Airbnb description.
The store manager also points to the incredible local community in Bend as being a reason the store was able to survive for so many years.
The store has rapidly booked up on Airbnb as movie-goers are seemingly showing excitement for the new overnight experience. For Canadians, we will have to wait a little longer – and until the world becomes safer – before getting our chance to travel down to Oregon and venture back in time.