In the age of streaming and VOD, movie fans old enough to remember the era of VHS and DVD rentals are surely filled with warm and fuzzy memories of browsing the aisles of their local Blockbuster Video. While they once numbered over 9,000 locations, there now exists a single Blockbuster store, in Bend, Oregon, which is offering a very special blast from the past in the form of three available overnight stays on Airbnb.
Yes, you can actually have a movie-night sleepover inside an actual Blockbuster, which has created a living room space amid its towering shelves of movies. The decor harkens back to the 1990s peak of the rental chain, with a pull-out couch and pastel-patterned bedspreads and pillows. Guests will be able to play VHS movies on the included 4:3 TV.
Unfortunately, the sleepovers are available only to residents in Bend’s Deschutes County. Beginning on August 17 at 1 p.m. PT, movie lovers can request to book one of three, one-night stays that will take place on September 18, 19, and 20, for up to four people per stay. And it’s just $4 a night, a nod to the cost of a rental.
Here’s an excerpt from the listing:
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 …
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 of 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 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.
If you’re not a Deschutes County resident, fear not. After the final guests check out, Blockbuster customers will have a chance to check out the living room space for an unspecified limited time.
As many have gotten used to films being served up by back-end robot processes, the store is also offering one of the great forgotten services of yesteryear: movie recommendations from an actual, live person. It’s inviting people from around the world to call into the store at 541-385-9111 for its “Callgorithm”: “Tell us what you like and don’t like, and a real human will give you tailored recommendations.”
The store’s online shop also has plenty of Blockbuster swag, from tote bags to beanies and yes, you can even snag an iconic laminated membership card. The store’s management says that revenue will help support its staff during a challenging time.
The store’s management says they’ve been able to stay in business thanks to community support and Bend’s budding tourism industry.
A documentary by Taylor Morden about the store, “The Last Blockbuster,” which features interviews with Kevin Smith, Doug Benson, Paul Scheer, and Brian Posehn, is now playing at drive-ins.