At its peak, Blockbuster Video had more than 9,000 stores. But starting next week, there will be only one left in America.
Two of the remaining stores are based in Alaska, and they will close on Sunday.
That leaves the Blockbuster Video in Bend, Oregon, as the final store.
OPB “Weekend Edition” host John Notarianni talked with the store’s general manager, Sandi Harding. She said nostalgia for the video rental chain continues to draw out-of-town visitors to the store.
“We still get a lot of people coming in almost daily saying, ‘Oh my gosh! There’s a Blockbuster,’ and, ‘How are you still here?’ and taking pictures in front of the store. It’s pretty wonderful,” Harding said.
Dish Network acquired Blockbuster when it filed for bankruptcy in 2011. Dish Network closed the remaining corporate video stores but the Bend store was able to license the name from Dish Network, and remain open.
The store is a franchise, completely separate from the defunct chain, which is good news for any movie fans who’ve racked up serious late fees.
“Because there is no more Blockbuster, there is also no more computer system,” Harding said. “We don’t have a way to look up anyone’s old account information. We don’t have a way to check in old movies.”
Harding said the store’s owners have no intention of closing anytime soon.
“We are just taking it day to day,” Harding said. “As long as we continue to do business, we’ll continue to keep our doors open.”
Use the audio player above to hear the full conversation from OPB’s “Weekend Edition.”