Renting a movie from a physical store may be a thing of the past, but how about renting the entire store?
Dust off those membership cards and dig out your DVD player, because the last Blockbuster store on Earth is temporarily rebranding – as an extremely nostalgic Airbnb.
A few lucky guests in Bend, Oregon, will be able to rent out the entire shop floor for a one-night reservation, available on September 18, 19 and 20.
For a paltry $4.00 (plus taxes), precisely one cent more than a standard DVD rental, each stay comes with unfettered access to the store’s iconic aisles, and a luxury living room set up by the counter, complete with a classic VCR.
Your mega-movie night hosts up to four people, divided between an airbed and sofa bed, and you’ll be greeted with slumber party staples like popcorn, Pepsi, and Raisinets.
Once widespread across the US, the UK, and in Ireland under subsidiary brand Xtra-vision, Blockbuster’s slide into irrelevance became a case study for the changing face of entertainment. The rent-and-return model never looked likely to survive the advent of online streaming and, in 2010, the company filed for bankruptcy.
All corporate-owned American Blockbusters shut up shop between 2013 and 2014, but the Bend, Oregon store soldiered on valiantly under the guidance of owner and manager Sandi Harding.
When Australia’s last Blockbuster closed its doors last year, the Bend branch became the world’s last standing Blockbuster – a final monument to the pre-Netflix era.
Now this last Blockbuster is entering a different rental market, in an equally uncertain time. Before each set of visitors, the store will be cleaned in accordance with Airbnb’s Enhanced Cleaning Protocol, while face coverings, disinfectant wipes, and hand sanitizer will be provided as standard. So bring your pals, and don’t forget: ‘Please be kind and rewind.’
Reservations open at 1pm PST on August 17, and you can book here.