All of my favourite childhood memories involve heading to my local Blockbuster.
My mates and I would ride our bikes to the video store during school holidays and rent a stack of weekly films. Then it would be back to someone’s home whose parents were at work, where we’d get stoned and waste the day on the couch watching films. To be honest, it’s something I’d still do now if it weren’t for the advent of streaming services and the need to work for a living, but for those in Bend, Oregon, my dream is their reality.
Home to the world’s last operating Blockbuster, the Bend video store has become somewhat of a tourist destination over the past couple of years, but thanks to COVID-19, business has been tougher than usual. So, to thank those who have been supporting the store during the pandemic, manager Sandi Harding has decided to offer locals the chance to stay the night in the store. Listing the property on Airbnb, Harding is giving three lucky groups of four local residents the once in a lifetime chance to experience the ultimate movie marathon next month when the iconic Blockbuster lets patrons spend the night. Not only can those who book get nostalgic re-living their childhood video store memories, but the cost of a one night stay in the store is just $US5.58, less than the price of two new releases!
‘Over the past few months, we’ve been missing the regular visits from friends and neighbours and tourists from around the world,’ the Airbnb listing reads. ‘So, we’re opening our store to three quarantine pods of Deschutes Country guests for a socially-distanced movie night, just like those of decades past!’
To make guests feel at home, a 90s-inspired lounge room has been constructed in-store, complete with beanbags, sofa bed, bright coloured cushions, and an old school television hooked up to a functioning VCR. There’s also a wide array of snacks on offer to get you through the night, and guests are encouraged to ‘crack open a two-litre of Pepsi before locking into a video game, charting your future in a game of MASH, or watching movie after movie. And help yourself to some NERDS, Raisinets and popcorn (heavy on the butter), but make sure you sure room for a couple of slices.’
The Blockbuster in Bend became the last store of the chain in America in August 2018 and the last in the world when the final Australian Blockbuster closed in March last year. You can book a night in the last Blockbuster on earth today via Airbnb, but if you live too far away, you can still support the store by purchasing some Blockbuster merch here.