At the height of its popularity, there were 9,000 Blockbuster stores. A movie fan seeing that familiar Blockbuster logo – a vibrant blue and sunny yellow movie ticket stub ripped on one side – knew they were in for a night of movie magic.
“Blockbuster was the social meeting place of every little town,” says Jay Carlson, a VHS expert with Heritage Auctions. “On Saturday night you bumped into all of your friends and their families renting tapes. It was something that everyone was doing.”
But not anymore, unless you live in or near Bend, Oregon, home of the last remaining Blockbuster store in the world. Blockbuster closed all its corporate-owned stores by early 2014, leaving the Bend location as one of 50 remaining franchise stores. In March of 2019 it was the last Blockbuster standing – anywhere.
Today the store has become a popular tourist destination, selling merchandise with the Blockbuster name, hosting sleepovers and inspiring a local brewery to release a dark ale in its honor called The Last Blockbuster.