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Monday, September 21, 2020

World's last Blockbuster store in Bend, Oregon listed on Airbnb

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The world’s last remaining Blockbuster rental store is being listed on Airbnb, with stays costing just $4 and the shelves fully stocked for a monster 90s movie marathon

  • The enduring outlet is located in Bend, Oregon, and the stays will cost just a few pennies more than a rental 
  • The listing says: ‘Our Blockbuster store is an ode to movie magic, simpler times and the sense of community’ 
  • Guests will stay in a section of the store that has been revamped into a living room, complete with bean bags

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The world’s last remaining Blockbuster store will be transformed into an Airbnb. 

And the house rules? Be kind and please rewind, of course (and try not to summon the resident ghost).

The enduring outlet is located in Bend, Oregon, and the stays will cost just a few pennies more than a rental – $4 plus fees and taxes (£3.05).  

The world's last remaining Blockbuster store (pictured) in Bend, Oregon, will be transformed into an Airbnb

The world’s last remaining Blockbuster store (pictured) in Bend, Oregon, will be transformed into an Airbnb 

Stays at the enduring outlet will cost just a few pennies more than a rental - $4 plus fees and taxes (£3.05)

Stays at the enduring outlet will cost just a few pennies more than a rental – $4 plus fees and taxes (£3.05) 

Preview photos show that guests will stay in a portion of the store that’s been revamped into a living room, complete with a big television and couch that folds out into a bed. 

The store’s manager, Sandi Harding, said she was inspired to run the sleepover in appreciation of what the local community had done to support her business in such uncertain times.

For that reason, the stays are only available to residents in the Deschutes County area, with bookings open from 1pm PST/9pm BST on August 17, via Airbnb. 

The shelves in the store will be stocked with a vast array of movies to suit all tastes. Sandi will act as the Airbnb host to show guests what is what before handing over the keys. 

The listing states: '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'

The listing states: ‘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’ 

The house rules for the Airbnb Blockbuster? Be kind and rewind, of course (and try not to summon the resident ghost)

The house rules for the Airbnb Blockbuster? Be kind and rewind, of course (and try not to summon the resident ghost) 

THE HISTORY OF VHS AND BLOCKBUSTER 

  • VHS tapes became available in the United States in 1977 after a successful reveal in Japan in 1976. 
  • With the rise of DVDs, Hollywood gradually stopped releasing movies on VHS. The last movie to be produced in VHS format was A History of Violence in 2006.
  • Blockbuster was founded by David Cook in 1985 after he saw the potential in the VHS rental business.
  • It grew to be the lead video rental franchise during the 90s, boasting 9,000 locations worldwide. 
  • In 2001 the firm reduced its video cassette collections by a quarter to make room for increasingly popular DVDs.
  • But due to increased competition from the likes of Netflix and Redbox, it lost 75 per cent of its market value between 2003 and 2005.
  • By 2017 there were just 10 stores left in the U.S. Now the only remaining store in the world is located in Bend, Oregon. 

 

The Bend Blockbuster store manager, Sandi Harding

The Bend Blockbuster store manager, Sandi Harding

After the final guests check out, those who weren’t able to snag a stay will be able to check out the Airbnb set-up for a limited time. 

The listing states: ‘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. 

‘Over the past few months, we’ve been missing the regular visits from friends, neighbors and tourists from around the world. So, we’re opening our store to three quarantine pods of Deschutes County guests for a socially-distanced movie night, just like those of decades past! 

‘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. 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. But be wary of reciting “Bloody Mary” in the staff bathroom off 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 of slices. And remember, the store is all yours for the night. So let loose, blast the boombox and wear your favorite 90s denim so that you feel right at home in another era.’

Blockbuster was once the lead video renting franchise, boasting 9,000 locations worldwide. By 2017 there were just 10 stores left in the U.S and Alaska closed its last couple of shops in 2018 by selling T-shirts and hats.

The Bend location seems to be doing just fine though – it has remained open for more than 20 years. 

A large slice of the sales are thanks to classic old movie titles, and it sells a range of merchandise including hats, T-shirts and sunglasses. 

To celebrate the last Blockbuster in the world and its community, Airbnb will make a donation from the stays to the Humane Society of Central Oregon, a longtime partner of the store that’s close to Sandi’s heart.

  • The store will become an Airbnb for three nights from September 18 to 20, with Covid-19 measures in place. Groups who book must be from the same household.  



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