This might sound bizarre since you probably haven’t seen a Blockbuster Video store in more than a decade, but one small American town has the strange honor of being the home to the last operating Blockbuster Video store- in the world.
According to Fox News, up until very recently, there were two standing Blockbusters in existence, one in the town of Bend, in Oregon, and the other on the other side of the globe in Perth, Australia. Just this month after fighting the forces of history and outdated services, the Perth Blockbuster admitted defeat to the digital-streaming world and closed its doors for good. Now, the forces of history now point their sights to the Blockbuster in Bend, where somehow business is still keeping them alive, if just barely.
The Blockbuster in Bend seems to be a museum of sorts. As you walk inside to the site of walls of DVD’s and Blu-Rays flanked by upcoming release posters and classic theater snacks, you’ll also notice that the store is still operating with the same IBM computers and nostalgic membership cards you’d see back when Blockbuster was still the number one source for movie rentals. Like gas-lit streetlamps and downtown arcades, technology and innovation are the most peaceful eliminating force of industries mankind has ever known, and Blockbuster is no exception to that rule. What used to have over 9,000 stores across the world and billions in profits, is now down to this one store which has operated independently since Blockbuster corporate went bankrupt and ceased to exist officially in 2014.
For now, the store in Bend foresees a few more years of cheer and customers since the store still seems to open up new memberships regularly from locals to tourists alike. Even if people are signing up so they can possess the cherished membership card you probably had during your simpler days in the 1990s, that is good enough for them since they’re just happy to still earn your business.
Blu-ray and DVD sales as a whole are also feeling the profit pinch thanks to the rise and convenience of digital downloads and online streaming services. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and CBS are just some of the big names you might be subscribing to currently, and seem to be here to stay. Alas, it may only be a matter of time until this lone monument to a chain which many consider a quintessential American cultural icon finally calls it quits and joins the dodo bird in the category of “extinct.”
Sources: Fox News