If you grew up in the ‘80s and ‘90s, you remember a time when viewing a movie wasn’t as easy as searching the internet. Movies simply weren’t at your fingertips. Instead of typing the movie name in your phone, you would have to get in your car or walk to the nearest video rental store. The one that you probably went to was Blockbuster Video.
I can vividly remember walking the aisles at Blockbuster Video on a Friday or Saturday night. It was a group experience as my family or friends would try to find a movie we’d all want to watch. Sometimes we’d go in to rent a specific movie only to find that it wasn’t available. When that happened, we never knew what movie we’d leave the store with. Sometimes, the movie we chose at random would become a favorite.
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All that changed in the 2000s when we began renting videos through the mail and eventually online in the 2010s. In fact, as of 2019, there is only one Blockbuster video store on the planet.
The Last Blockbuster Store On Earth
The last Blockbuster store is in a surprising location: Bend, Oregon. Although Blockbuster was once a massive chain that many people shopped at through the early 2000s, the last Blockbuster is more like a mom and pop store. It’s independently owned, and souvenir items of the store are made by local residents.
Even so, the store still has the feel of the once beloved video rental icon. You still recognize the blue and yellow from a mile away. Movies are still checked out by hand. And yes, the store still uses membership cards.
Nostalgia For Rent
Starting this week, you can relive your own Blockbuster memories without having to take a trip to Bend, Oregon. Netflix is releasing a 10-episode series called—you guessed it—Blockbuster. The show is set in the final Blockbuster Video store on earth. Throughout the series, the show explores the success of Timmy Yoon, played by Randall Park, as the manager of the last standing Blockbuster store.
The release of the show is bringing us back to our childhood and young adult days. At least this time, we don’t have to worry about late fees. On the TV show’s YouTube trailer, many people are sharing what Blockbuster meant to them. As one person commented, “Nothing better than Dad saying your friend could stay for the weekend, ordering pizzas and grabbing a couple movies from Blockbuster. What a time it was to be alive.”
Another YouTube user shared, “Blockbuster was such a huge part of my childhood! Netflix and other streaming services are really not the same thing. There was something special about going to the store, seeing all those shelves full of VHS (or DVDs) and picking one. There was no procrastinating cause you had to return it so soon. And there were those movies that you’d find in a corner, a title you’ve never heard of, and it would become one of your favorites.”