Long before Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, a magical place called Blockbuster reigned supreme. It was a simpler time, filled with laminated membership cards and pesky late fees. The lucky ones will still remember the sheer thrill of walking into their local neighborhood Blockbuster and picking out a lineup of the latest VHS releases.
At its peak (circa 2004), there were more than 9,000 locations worldwide. But after a string of unfortunate obstacles, every Blockbuster location in the U.S. was eventually closed—except for one.
Today, the last remaining Blockbuster on the planet can be found in Bend, Oregon. Despite the new wave of streaming competition, the location has been able to remain in operation thanks to a loyal legion of movie lovers within the community. And now, it’s gearing up to relive the glory days by opening its doors as an Airbnb.
The Bend staple created this “end of summer sleepover” as a gesture to thank the dedicated residents of Deschutes County, Oregon. Listed by Store Manager Sandi Harding, the one-of-a-kind Airbnb will officially launch on August 17 at 1 p.m. PST. But, there’s a catch.
Only three, one-night stays will be up for grabs (slated for September 18, 19, and 20). Additionally, booking requests will only be open to Deschutes County residents. But the few lucky locals will be able to lock in their overnight stay for just $4 (plus taxes and fees). That’s only a penny more than a $3.99 new release movie rental.
The ‘90s-themed retreat will provide the ultimate nostalgic throwback. The soon-to-debut Airbnb has been decked out to look like a living room from yesteryear, complete with a chunky big screen TV, VCR player, video games, bean bag chairs, and—of course—brown carpeting.
Due to health safety concerns regarding COVID-19, guests will be required to follow all host rules in adherence with local guidelines. Those who request to book must also come from the same household, or “quarantine pod,” to minimize risk. Additionally, the store will be prepped and cleaned in accordance with recommendations informed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Once inside, guests are welcome to let loose and make themselves at home. Crank up the boombox, predict your future during a game of MASH, or even try to summon Bloody Mary in the staff bathroom—no ‘90s pastime is off limits. The wall-to-wall shelves will obviously be stocked with an envious collection of classic flicks for a quintessential ‘90s movie marathon. Just don’t forget to pig out on pizza, Nerds, and over-buttered popcorn.
But don’t be jealous if you’re one of the countless Blockbuster fans that won’t be able to spend the night. Fans from around the world can take advantage of the store’s “Callgorithm.” Simply give them a ring at +1 (541) 385-9111, tell the staff what types of movie you do (or don’t) like, and a real-life human will rattle off a list of personalized recommendations. You can also order some gear from their online store, bearing the company’s iconic blue and yellow logo. After the final guests check out, visitors will have the chance to check out the space for themselves during store hours for a limited time. If you ask us, it sounds like a totally tubular time.