Do you miss the era of big hair, VHS tapes, and, of course, Blockbuster? Well, there’s one place that you can still enjoy those classic ’80s and ’90s memories: down at the last Blockbuster on Earth. Located in Bend, Oregon, this relic of the past has had to adapt, like so many, to the era of coronavirus. Now, you can rent a room there on AirBnB for the world’s most excellent movie night!
Back In Time For One Night
Of course, no one’s denying that Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and the like are not fantastic for a night in. However, there’s still something strangely alluring about the warmth of the VHS player and the smell of Blockbuster. After all, what ’80s or ’90s child can forget the good times had wandering the halls of your local video rental store, looking for something to take home. Now, sadly, there’s only one operating Blockbuster remaining in the entire world. Located in Bend, Oregon, the site has become something of a Mecca for diehard Blockbuster fans. And, as of last month, anyone can now rent out the whole place – an ’80s kids wildest fantasy!
“Hey Deschutes County residents! Dust off those membership cards for a sleepover inside the world’s last BLOCKBUSTER,” the last Blockbuster’s posting on AirBnB reads. “When you call dibs on this stay, 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!” The listing went live on September 1st for a very good reason…
The Last Blockbuster On Earth
The people behind the last Blockbuster, which includes co-owner and manager Sandi Harding, are proud of what they’ve accomplished in Bend. “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,” explained Harding. Over the past few years, the Blockbuster has become more than a place for rentals to rent DVDs, Blu-Rays, and video games – which they still do. Travelers from around the world come in every day. Sadly, COVID-19 put an end to all of that for months. Now, as the store remains closed, the owners realized they could keep it afloat by renting out the store for a socially distanced move night!
Before Bend, America’s second-to-last Blockbuster resided in Alaska. That location closed in 2018. Then, in 2019, the penultimate Blockbuster, one in Australia’s outback, also closed, leaving Bend as the last Blockbuster. While it’s an incredibly old store, the host renovated it enough to make it comfortable for visitors. The rented movie night comes complete with retro snacks, a huge comfy couch, and all the movies you could dream off! What else could a movie lover need?
A Temporary Solution
As you might imagine, this is simply a band-aid for the current COVID situation. “We’re still making plans and pushing forward, and we’re the last one for a reason,” Harding said. “We don’t go down without a fight. So we’re going to keep fighting for a while.”
Everyone at Blockbuster hopes the idea takes off. It does seem like the perfect idea! “Crack open a two-liter of Pepsi before locking into a video game, charting your future in a game of MASH, or watching movie after movie,” the listing continues. “But be wary of reciting ‘Bloody Mary’ in the staff bathroom off of the break room, as you just may summon the ghost rumored to haunt the store. And help yourself to some NERDS, Raisinets and popcorn (heavy on the butter), but make sure you save room for a couple slices.”
The best part of all? You can feel great about the rental. “To celebrate and pay it forward in this tradition of support, Airbnb will make a donation to the Humane Society of Central Oregon, a longtime partner of ours,” the rental company stated. So if you live nearby, don’t hesitate!