In the age of streaming services and on-demand content, the idea of renting a movie from a physical store seems like a thing of the past. But in Bend, Oregon, the last Blockbuster in the world is still standing, and it has become a popular tourist destination for movie enthusiasts and nostalgia seekers alike.
The last Blockbuster store in the world is located on NE 3rd Street in Bend, Oregon. It opened in 1992 and was once part of a chain of over 9,000 Blockbuster stores worldwide. However, as streaming services like Netflix and Hulu became more popular, the number of physical stores dwindled until only a handful were left.
Despite the changing times, the Bend Blockbuster has remained in business thanks to a loyal customer base and a unique sense of community. The store’s manager, Sandi Harding, has become somewhat of a local celebrity, and she is known for her friendly personality and her dedication to keeping the store running.
In addition to offering movie rentals, the Bend Blockbuster has become a destination for tourists who want to experience a piece of pop culture history. Visitors can take photos with the store’s famous blue and yellow Blockbuster sign or purchase merchandise like t-shirts and hats.
The Bend Blockbuster has also become a popular location for movie premieres and special events. In 2019, the store hosted a screening of the movie “Captain Marvel” and even had a custom-made Blockbuster video rental box on display.
While the Bend Blockbuster may be the last of its kind, it has become a symbol of a simpler time, when renting a movie was a weekend tradition and browsing the aisles for the perfect title was a beloved pastime. The store’s survival in the age of digital media is a testament to the power of nostalgia and the enduring appeal of physical media.
In a world where everything is becoming more and more digital, the Bend Blockbuster serves as a reminder of the past and a beacon of hope for those who still value the human connection that comes with visiting a physical store.