You can – and should – eat popcorn in bed at this one-of-a-kind Airbnb. Located in Bend, Oregon, this rental has everything: a sofabed, free snacks, a VCR and a big TV.
Yes, you can sleepover at the world’s last Blockbuster video store.
Since 2004, store manager (and would-be superhost), Sandi Harding, has run the operation in the spirit of the time when Blockbuster stores and their laminated rental cards and late fees were part of the cultural vernacular, when everyone was encouraged to “Make it a Blockbuster night!”
This limited overnight experience is part thank you to residents of Deschutes County for keeping the last Blockbuster alive and kicking – and a way to let people outside central Oregon know it’s there and needs support to keep things humming like 1994.
The store is going full ’90s with this overnight – including creating a living room within the store, with decor from the decade, a gigantic era-appropriate television, a VCR and all the store’s VHS tapes to choose from to complete the mise en scene.
“It was a challenge to find that chunky TV!” Harding said in an interview with CNN.
Harding also explained how exactly the world’s last Blockbuster ended up as a listing on Airbnb. “It’s our 20th year as a Blockbuster, we were hoping to celebrate that this year, but with Covid throwing a wrench into everybody’s plans, we were really excited to be able to pull this off.”
If you aren’t lucky enough to live in Bend, you can still get classic Blockbuster merchandise on the website. Those sales help the store stay open.
Harding says the ideation and execution was a group effort – and that the most important thing was to offer the Bend community (and only Deschutes County residents can book the space) an opportunity to safely celebrate the benchmark.
“With everybody being stuck at home and re-experiencing family time together, we thought it would be fun to enjoy some family time in a throwback ’90s environment.”
The rental allows up to four people, and encourages groups to be from the same household to easily adhere to Airbnb, CDC and local authority Covid-19 protocols and guidelines.
The space is available for three individual, one-night reservations on September 18, 19 and 20; booking is open on August 17.
If you were wondering how much this nostalgic movie night costs, fear not. Harding says, “It’s only $4 for the night, a penny more than what you would spend for a new release.”
Guests will have the run of the place – free to watch a pre-selected lineup of ’90s titles or anything else they find in the store.
“There will be some rules with social distancing,” says Harding, “but for the most part they can just enjoy their evening, enjoy pizza and popcorn and just have a blast.