This Is the Only State That Still Has a Blockbuster Video
There was a time when there were 9,000 Blockbusters around the world. Now, this is the only one standing.
Children of the 1990s can recall the glory of rushing into a Blockbuster on a Saturday night before a sleepover, racing to the shelves to see if there were still any copies of Titanic or Jurassic Park left. You'd bring the box to the front of the store, ask your parents to whip out that blue and yellow laminated card, and beg for some movie-sized candy as you made your way to check out. Of course, in the past few decades, watching movies in the comfort of your own home has change a lot. The technological advancements of OnDemand video and streaming services like Netflix have put old-school video stores out of business. But if you're nostalgic for the good ol' days, there is one Blockbuster that's still standing. So, where's the one state where you can still make it a Blockbuster night? Oregon—Bend, Oregon, to be specific. And for more states' claims to fame, here is The Weirdest Landmark Every State Is Extremely Proud Of.
At its peak in 2004, Blockbuster had 9,094 stores around the world. In 2010, Blockbuster Corporate filed for bankruptcy and by 2011, more than 6,000 locations had closed. After another location in Alaska shuttered in March 2019, Bend's Blockbuster was the last one left standing.
The store is owned by Ken and Debbie Tisher, who moved from California to Bend, Oregon with their two teenagers in 1990. After successfully operating a few Pacific Video Stores in the town for 10 years, the Tishers made the decision to become a Blockbuster franchise in June of 2000. "We kept the same employees, and that's always been the key to our business is our employees," Ken told Central Oregon Daily in early 2020. Sandi Harding, for example, has been the general manager of the last Blockbuster location since 2004 and her children work at the store, too.
"We take it one day at a time, I guess, is the best way to say it," Ken said. "We've been having a good time and as long as we can make a dollar more than we spend, we plan on keeping it here."
Of course, the events of 2020 have changed nearly every business nationwide, the Tishers' included. In August, they announced they were turning their last-remaining Blockbuster into an AirBnb for a limited time, allowing guests to book a sleepover that every '90s kid would've dreamed of.
Locals were able to book one-night stays on Sept. 18, Sept. 19 and Sept. 20 for up to four people, complete with a pullout couch bed that looks like it's straight out of Zack Morris' room. Of course, they also had their pick of the store's 22,000 movies.
Hopefully, all guests were kind and did, in fact, rewind. And if you can't get enough of the 1990s, check out Facts That Will Overwhelm You with 1990s Nostalgia.