If you’re big on nostalgia and can stand the pungent whiff of an old video store, then how about spending a night in the last Blockbuster store on the planet?
The offer comes courtesy of Airbnb, which has teamed up with the store in Bend, Oregon, to offer three one-night stays, each for up to four people, on September 18, 19, and 20. The listing goes live at 1 p.m. on August 17, though for this particular offer only residents of Deschutes County, where the store is located, are invited to book.
Now, before we proceed, a quick note for the Netflix generation: Blockbuster was once the place to go if you wanted to rent a movie. Yes, way back when, you had to actually transport your entire physical being to a place like Blockbuster in order to select a movie on VHS tape or DVD before taking it back home to watch … on a machine. And after that, you had to make another trip to the store to return it.
“Dust off those membership cards for a sleepover inside the world’s last Blockbuster,” Airbnb’s new listing reads. “When you call dibs on this stay, you’re booking a night back in the ’90s, but this time you won’t have to beg your parents to rent the latest horror flick — we’ll give you the keys to the entire store!”
It describes the themed location, which has been carefully constructed inside the store, as “an ode to movie magic, simpler times and the sense of community that could once be found in Blockbuster locations around the world.”
The listing says guests will find “the perfect space complete with a pull-out couch, bean bags, and pillows for you to cozy up with ‘new releases’ from the ‘90s,” adding, “Crack open a two-liter of Pepsi before locking into a video game, charting your future in a game of MASH, or watching movie after movie … And help yourself to some Nerds, Raisinets, and popcorn (heavy on the butter), but make sure you save room for a couple slices.”
The set-up shown in the accompanying photo (above) certainly looks comfortable, and thankfully the store has installed a reasonably large television set instead of going all in with its ’90s theme by offering some tiny box-like contraption with diabolical resolution.
The store owner says that, what with the coronavirus pandemic causing so much disruption, it’s been missing the regular visits from friends, neighbors, and tourists (some of whom have no doubt committed the dastardly deed of signing up to online streaming services). So it’s decided to show its appreciation for its loyal customers by opening the last Blockbuster on Earth for “a socially distanced movie night,” with a heavy dose of nostalgia thrown in for good measure.
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