“Over the past few months, we have missed regular visits from friends, neighbors and tourists from all over the world. So we’re opening our store to three groups of quarantined Deschutes County customers for a social distance movie night, just like those of decades past!
Before streaming took over the film and television industry, Blockbuster was one of the largest DVD and home video rental companies in the world.
Now, Bend, Ore. Is Blockbuster’s last location. While the exterior looks like the stores of yesteryear, with huge shiny yellow letters spelling out “BLOCKBUSTER,” photos posted on the listing show the interior has been laid out for the party.
Behind the rows of shelving filled with DVDs and video games is a large, carpeted space, with a sofa bed set up to face a large TV. The Blockbuster logo on their movie ticket can be found above the wall. One photo even shows a rack of movie snacks available to visitors.
“Help yourself to some NERDS, raisins, and popcorn (heavy on butter), but be sure to save room for a few slices,” the list advises.
There are three overnight stays up for grabs on September 18, 19, and 20, and up to four people can book a night, as long as they are all from the same quarantine bubble.
“The store is yours for the night! So let go, blow up the boombox and wear your favorite ’90s denim to make you feel right at home in another era, ”the list reads.
The lounge will remain open for Blockbuster customers to explore for a short time after the last customers have left.
Sandi Harding, the director of the Blockbuster, wrote in her Airbnb bio that she has been a movie buff her entire life and has worked for this specific Blockbuster since 2004, when Blockbusters numbered in the thousands.
“I’ve seen the ups and downs of this business, but there’s no substitute for going to the store with loved ones to browse the shelves and find a movie that suits your mood,” she wrote.
“The COVID-19 pandemic was a test of our community like no other, so we decided to list this trip to keep this tradition alive in these uncertain times.
While Blockbuster may be a blast from the past, it’s important to stay safe in the present, so guests will be provided with headgear, sanitizing 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 will wear a mask and ask all guests to do the same.
According to the listing, Airbnb will also donate to the Humane Society of Central Oregon as part of this event, in order to give back to the community.
While the listing for Airbnb looks pretty friendly, they do have a disclaimer.
“Beware of reciting ‘Bloody Mary’ in the staff bathroom next to the break room,” the list says, “because you might just summon the ghost that would haunt the store.”