At this point on the planet, time does not seem to have passed. In the city of Bend, located in the state of Oregon, USAthe last rises block buster operating in the world, the iconic chain of video stores, which were relegated first by DVD and then by streaming. With its characteristic logo and the imprint of locals that knew how to reproduce by the thousands throughout the continent, the store welcomes nostalgic tourists and local enthusiasts.
While the floor is covered by the classic gray carpet, the candy and snack gondolas are right at the starting point. As they were known in the ’90s and early 2000s, when visits to Blockbuster were commonplace. It is not, however, a melancholy trip, but a place where you can rent movies.
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Located about 160 kilometers from Portland, in the western United States, the store stands as the only location available after the company declared bankruptcy in 2010. This last franchise belongs to the marriage Ken and Debbie Tisher.
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The experience of those who visit Blockbuster in Bend is the same as it was more than a decade ago. While the films are organized by genre categories in different aisles, on the way to the box the visitor will be able to find -in addition to sweets- all the merchandise of the brand. When paying, the cashier will proceed to remove the insurances from the boxes of DVDs, which can then be delivered to the return mailbox.
Does the only local survive thanks to movie rentals? The business model, according to the American publication Travel+Leisure, differs from the stores of 20 years ago. “The store now relies primarily on merchandise sales and tourism to stay afloat,” the magazine says.
On social media, Blockbuster keeps the interest alive for its more than 100,000 followers on Tik Tok and another 62,000 followers on Instagram. The publications show scenes that had remained only in the memory of many and brings them back to life. The sound of movies dropping into the returns box, security locks being put up and walks down hallways, some of the postcards being played thousands of times.
“All proceeds from the sale of our products go directly to support our store and help us stay open,” says the Tisher couple, who appreciate the support of their fans through their website.