Do you remember the days when you would visit Blockbuster video, were you would roam the endless aisles of videos, get lost in a sea of VHS cassettes, and rent the latest flicks for a $1 each?
Ah, those were days!
A few days ago, I was scrolling through my Twitter feed, and I saw that a friend had retweeted a tweet from Blockbuster. I automatically thought to myself, “I thought they were out of business?”
The tweet stated, ”Just checking in.”
Later that same day, I visited their Twitter page to see how active the company was on the platform. To my surprise, they posted a second tweet:
“Ok, we’ve seen enough. Checking out.”
Nostalgic memories of Blockbuster came flooding in like a tidal wave: the vast array of different genres films, VHS players, VHS cassettes, and those darn late fees.
Most importantly, the one item that was your passport to rent movies: your Blockbuster membership card.
Suddenly, I remembered I still had my Blockbuster membership card!!
I rummaged through several drawers in my dresser, and I actually found it!
For whatever reason, I held onto the card. Perhaps, the nostalgia of a simpler time is what compelled me to tuck the card away with other special momentos. I’m not quite sure why, but it was there.
As I was sharing with my twenty year old daughter how I still had my membership card from Blockbuster, she mentioned how there’s a massive following (subculture) among Millennials and Generation Z that collect merchandise from the company.
I immediately googled Blockbuster video, and sure enough, my daughter was right!
For example, on Ebay, I saw a “vintage” Blockbuster video membership card for $2000. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Blockbuster-Membership-Card/254264065805?hash=item3b3351bf0d:g:8YgAAOSwtYddA~RW
That’s right! My jaw dropped.
From there, I went down a long rabbit-hole. On Ebay and Etsy, I found old empty VHS cassette cases with the Blockbuster video logo on it, key chains, t-shirts, stickers, hats, coffee mugs, and etc.
In addition, back in December of 2019, the edgy fashion design house (Dumbgood), opened a pop-up Blockbuster Video shop for one week in NYC. Blockbuster-inspired merchandise was their main focal point. Visitors were able to shop everything from $12 branded key chains to iPhone cases to $400 VHS chain necklaces. There was are even “Be Kind Rewind!” t-shirts for sale. https://dumbgood.com/
As I continued my research, I found there was only one remaining Blockbuster Video store open in the entire world, and it’s located in Bend, Oregon. https://bendblockbuster.com/
Despite a global pandemic, the store has remained strong, and has customers flocking from all over the U.S. In addition, for customers who want authentic merchandise from the company, can now purchase items on their online store.
“In the age of Netflix and other streaming platforms, Harding credits her store’s success to both local support and Bend’s budding tourism industry.”
Not only can you visit the last remaining Blockbuster store, but now you can even rent it out over night.
You heard me right. Through Airbnb, the store is now available for overnight sleepovers for $4 a night.
But, there’s a catch…..only residents from Deschutes County are permitted to request to book a stay at the store. The store is also only available for a limited time — for three individuals and a one-night reservations that will take place September 18, 19, 20th.
The owner of the store is only allowing county residents to stay the night at the store to thank them for their support during these uncertain times.
If the only remaining Blockbuster Video store in the world was open in your hometown, would you visit the store to rent movies, and buy trendy merchandise?
Better yet, if you had a once-in-a-lifetime chance to rent the store out for a one-night sleepover with two of your best friends to relive those nostalgic memories, would you jump at the chance?