Just last year, the Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon, was announced to be the last Blockbuster in the United States. As of March 7, however, it’s become the last one in the world. While it’s a bittersweet loss of a nostalgic staple, the owner isn’t concerned in the slightest about her business’ doors closing.
By early 2018, only three Blockbuster locations remained in the US. After the Alaskan locations closed in mid-2018, the future of this movie rental retailer seemed pretty grim. The two remaining locations, (one in Morley, Australia, and the other in Bend, Oregon,) quickly became the only left in the entire world. When the Australian location announced via Facebook that they’d be closing their doors, many began to question the fate of the Oregon location.
According to CNN, the store's general manager Sandi Harding believes that being the sole Blockbuster "is not hurting us." After learning more about her business, it’s easy to see why.
Though streaming services like Netflix are a standard part of most people’s lives, even with a recent price rise, they don’t offer the experience that Harding’s location provides. Her location's biggest draw? Classic old titles, which she refers to as the store’s “bread and butter.” The sentimentality of these older films and the legacy of Blockbuster itself is something that probably has such a draw to people today.
Blockbuster was once a vital part of weekend plans for people across the country. With thousands of stores located around the globe, it catered to people’s desire to curl up with a movie at home, order a pizza, and avoid the long movie lines.
However, once streaming services like Netflix and Hulu began appearing, Blockbuster took a serious hit. People went from not having to go to the movies to see a good film, to not even having to drive to Blockbuster to rent a film. By 2010, Blockbuster declared bankruptcy. Its thousands of stores dwindled quickly, and now we’re left with a single store as a reminder of what once was.
While we can only hope there’s a Blockbuster out there on some far-away planet stuck in the 90s, we’re glad to see such a staple of our culture still holding its ground here on Earth. So, if you’re in for a nostalgia-filled night, why not take a trip to Oregon, rent a classic flick, and order some pizza?
Just don’t forget to return it after. Some things never change.