Many of us probably have childhood memories of going to the Blockbuster in our neighborhood and picking out our favorite movie or TV show DVDs for a family movie night. (My personal pick was a Hello Kitty animated series, from what I remember.) But now, the closest that future generations will get to that experience is typing a title into the Netflix search bar, as only one Blockbuster remains in the U.S.
The store, which is in Bend, Oregon and is managed by Sandi Harding, has become something of a recent tourist attraction. I guess it’s the American equivalent of an ancient monument, or something—according to The Washington Post, the computers still use floppy disks.
“Every day, even before this, people would drive by and see the ‘Open’ sign and say, ‘Oh my gosh. How are you still here? Why are you still here?’” Harding said in an interview. With streaming services, Blockbuster stores have been rendered almost completely useless, leading to the closing of thousands of stores across the nation. Throughout July, the Bend location was one of three, the other two being in Alaska. But both Alaska locations closed on July 15, making Harding’s store the lone survivor.
The Bend location seems to be taking to the role with gusto, however: their Twitter handle is @loneblockbuster to really sell their brand, and they currently have over 322,000 followers.
Hey guys, hate to be a stickler but if you could drop your returns in the return slot instead of keeping them forever that would be awesome thank you
— The Last Blockbuster (@loneblockbuster) June 7, 2018
Appreciate it Ryan. We've still got Girls Gone Wild: Senioritis on hold for you BTW. https://t.co/XtVCCEsBod
— The Last Blockbuster (@loneblockbuster) July 14, 2018
The rest of Twitter seems to be a little more solemn about the fallen Blockbusters (though still with a sense of humor, of course).
I’m here in Bend, OR at the last Blockbuster in the US. Pouring one out for all the fallen homies pic.twitter.com/Jj2xDj7V0J
— M A T T (@_brucems) July 14, 2018
— Ty, Kelly & Chuck (@TyKellyandChuck) July 17, 2018
Ten bucks says this is now being turned into a quirky indie film about a lovable slacker working at the last Blockbuster starring @zachbraff and @ZooeyDeschanel with a @joshuaradin and @MumfordAndSons backed soundtrack. https://t.co/lwHP9d9ory
— Steelwill (@FCCMandate) July 16, 2018
Personally, I think the last Blockbuster could actually hold on for a while, if it keeps its novelty status as a relic of the ‘90s. I’m rooting for it—and I’m also kind of wondering if they still have that Hello Kitty animated series.