Do you dream of the ’90s? If so, next time you’re in Bend you may want to reminisce a bit and check out Blockbuster video. That’s right, in case you didn’t know, miraculously there were still a few Blockbusters in business.
In fact, just over a year ago I personally made a few calls to the remaining Blockbusters in Oregon, as I couldn’t believe it myself. The latest word is, as of tomorrow, July 15, 2018, the last Blockbuster in business on Earth will stand in Bend. The other two Blockbusters in Oregon have since closed in recent months.
According to the latest, the last two Blockbuster video stores aside from Bend, in Alaska, are throwing in the towel. The general manager of Blockbuster Alaska, went on the record to say the stores in Anchorage and Fairbanks will close for rentals after Sunday night. If you happen to be in Alaska, you can take advantage of their liquidation sale starting next week on Tuesday.
Around two months ago the host of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” made a last-ditch effort to save the business, and sent a jockstrap worn by Russell Crowe in the 2005 movie “Cinderella Man” to the Anchorage store.
The Blockbuster in Bend is beloved by locals, and is a hot spot for nostalgic tourists who are now eager to see the last Blockbuster standing in America.
Bend’s Blockbuster sign is instantly recognizable and a guaranteed nostalgia trigger for anyone who lived through the ’90s.
Remember your Blockbuster membership? You can still get one in bend for a $30 monthly fee.
The bend location has loyal customers, with locals still continuing to depend on movie rentals, even in the age of streaming services.
An ecstatic fan, who left a review on Yelp wrote: “HOLY CRAP! A LIVING, BREATHING, GOD HONEST BLOCKBUSTER! My kids were clueless, my wife and I ecstatic…we took pictures, we wandered around in amazement at the sight…we took in the smell…YES…IT EVEN HAS THAT BLOCKBUSTER SMELL of popcorn and boxed candies and plastic cases.”
It’s interesting to note, according to the store’s manager Sandi Harding, the location’s owner actually owns the portion of the building. Because of this, the store doesn’t have to pay rent.
While Blockbuster may still be seemingly thriving in Bend, who knows what the future holds. I think it goes without saying they still have an uphill battle to keep their doors open.
So if you want to check them out, we’d recommend you do it soon!