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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

The last Blockbuster store will become movie-themed Airbnb

The movie rental giant was eclipsed by streaming media sites and went out of business but there’s one store still standing

Before there was Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Apple+ and Amazon Prime, there was Blockbuster. The video rental company with its familiar blue and yellow sign was everywhere. Depending on your location, it had an array of newly released and classic DVD’s and videos. Even the slogan “Be kind, rewind,” referred to making sure you returned VHS tape rentals rewound to the beginning.

As a source of the night’s or weekend’s entertainment choices, the local Blockbuster was a brightly lit, happy place where you might start up a conversation with a fellow lover of French film, or even buy your popcorn and snacks as though you were heading out to the movie house instead of your own couch.

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At one point, Blockbuster had 9,000 stores nationwide with 60,000 employees.

But Netflix, which first made it easy to watch and return videos and DVD’s by mail, then moved on to streaming media. It turned out to be the Blockbuster killer. And though many of its locations were bought up by eager developers in search of retail space, a few remained.

Now, there’s just one and it’s being converted into a special, albeit temporary, Airbnb. According to NBC News, the very last remaining Blockbuster store in Bend, Oregon will become a 90s themed Airbnb, complete with the feel of the original locations.

In September, visitors can check-in for three one-night stays, Blockbuster announced this week. The cost will be a mere $4, just one penny more than the store’s $3.99 movie rental. An unlimited movie marathon is included.

Unfortunately, though, if Blockbuster nostalgia had you planning a flight to Bend, the promotion is limited to residents of Bend and Deschutes County. It is to minimize any coronavirus risks, the store said in the release.

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But you may still be able to visit, even if you can’t stay.

“After the final guests check out, BLOCKBUSTER customers can check out the living room space during store hours for a limited time,” the store said. The store still sells Blockbuster branded items.

As the last Blockbuster in the world, the store even had a documentary made about it released last month.

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The post The last Blockbuster store will become movie-themed Airbnb appeared first on TheGrio.

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