Before Netflix, before Hulu, before any kind of online streaming service, there was only the good ole brick and mortar Blockbuster Video. Those of us who grew up renting our favorite films from Blockbuster, get a sense of nostalgia anytime the store is mentioned.
Just when you thought all of the remaining Blockbusters had gone on to their eternal resting places, we discovered one remaining storefront exists in Oregon. Yes, really.
Believe it or not, there is one last Blockbuster Video standing in Bend, Oregon.
The single remaining storefront has managed to stay in business despite two other Blockbusters in Oregon closing down in recent months.
Thanks to loyal customers and nostalgic tourists, the Bend location seems to have found success.
My hometown has the only Blockbuster left and that’s the only way I will ever describe Bend now.
— Leigha Threlkeld (@ikeigha) March 11, 2019
Bend’s Blockbuster sign has retained its 90s glory over the years.
Inside the store, the setup remains the same, though the videotapes have been swapped for DVDs.
And you can *still* open a membership to rent movies for a $30 monthly fee.
Some locals even prefer the storefront to streaming services.
“I think it’s really neat that we still have one,” Sharon Schoettler told The Bend Bulletin. “I love the selection. They have a little bit of everything.”
One local resident is even making a documentary about the last remaining Blockbuster.
“Most people, I think, when they think about renting videos — if they’re the right age — they don’t remember the movie that they went to pick, but they remember who they went with and that freedom of walking the aisles,” said Zeke Kamm who is making a documentary about the store called “The Last Blockbuster” with a friend.
The last Blockbuster has also become a popular tourist attraction.
“Walking into this place for the first time reminded me of my childhood,” says a Yelp review. “Walking around looking at allllll of the movies to choose from is an experience in itself. … I would take a trip to Blockbuster with their 1,000s of movies to choose from over the limited Redbox or even Netflix any day!”
General manager Sandi Harding, who has worked at the Blockbuster franchise for 15 years says the location’s success is a team effort.
“It’s pure stubbornness, for one. We didn’t want to give in,” Harding said. “We did everything we could to cut costs and keep ourselves relevant.”
Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’ve got a plane to catch.