The last Blockbuster Video is now taking Airbnb bookings
TORONTO -- In Deschutes Country, Ore., a few people are getting the change to briefly escape the pandemic and step back into the ‘90s -- by partaking in a special Airbnb experience inside the world’s last Blockbuster Video.
“Dust off those membership cards for a sleepover,” the listing reads.
“Over the past few months, we’ve been missing the regular visits from friends, neighbours and tourists from around the world. So, we’re opening our store to three quarantine pods of Deschutes County guests for a socially-distanced movie night, just like those of decades past!”
Before streaming took over the movie and television business, Blockbuster was one of the biggest DVD and home video rental companies on the planet.
Now, Bend, Ore. is home to the last Blockbuster location. While the outside looks like the stores of yesteryear, complete with huge, glowing yellow letters spelling out “BLOCKBUSTER,” photos posted to the listing show that the interior has been set up for the party.
Behind the rows of shelving full of DVDs and video games is a wide, carpeted area, with a sofa bed set up to face a large TV. The Blockbuster logo on its movie ticket sits above on the wall. One photo even shows a rack of movie snacks available for visitors.
“Help yourself to some NERDS, Raisinets and popcorn (heavy on the butter), but make sure you save room for a couple slices,” the listing advises.
There are three one-night stays up for grabs on September 18, 19, and 20, and up to four people can book one night, providing they are all from the same quarantine bubble.
“The store is all yours for the night! So let loose, blast the boombox and wear your favorite ‘90s denim so that you feel right at home in another era,” the listing says.
The living room area will remain up for Blockbuster customers to explore for a short period of time after the last guests have checked out.
Sandi Harding, the manager of the Blockbuster, wrote in her Airbnb bio that she has been a movie lover her entire life and has worked at this specific Blockbuster since 2004, when Blockbusters numbered in the thousands.
“I’ve seen the highs and lows of this business, but nothing can replace going to the store with loved ones to browse the shelves and find a movie that suits whatever mood you’re in,” she wrote.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been a test of our community unlike any other, so we decided to list this stay to keep this tradition alive during these uncertain times.”
While Blockbuster may be a blast from the past, keeping safe in the present is important, so guests will be provided with face coverings, disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer for their stay. The store is also cleaned before and after each stay.
Harding notes that when she hands over the keys, she’ll be wearing a mask, and asks for any guests to do the same.
According to the listing, Airbnb will also be making a donation to the Humane Society of Central Oregon as part of this event, in order to give back to the community.
Although the listing for the Airbnb seems pretty friendly, they do have one warning.
“Be wary of reciting ‘Bloody Mary’ in the staff bathroom off of the break room,” the listing says, “as you just may summon the ghost rumored to haunt the store.”