At first I thought it was a joke, I spotted a story online about the last Blockbuster Video store still being open. Surely this cannot be. In these days of Netflix and Hulu and Disney+ and Amazon and YouTube and Sling and about a zillion other online sources, not to mention digital broadcast channels you can get free with an antenna, nobody would still want to go to a store, see what's actually on the shelf, then go home to watch it. Right?

Well, there is ONE remaining Blockbuster Video store still open and it's in Bend, Oregon. Just like any other business trying to stay alive in the great pandemic of 2020 they've had to make some adjustments with how they do things. They're wiping everything down with sanitizer, all of their employees are wearing gloves and masks, they even offer curbside pickup. It's not mentioned in the news story, but I'm sure they've still got the after hours drop-off bin on the outside of the store so you could slip the movie back to them just before you incurred late fees.

In its heyday, Blockbuster Video boasted 9,000 video rental stores. As of a year ago it was down to just this one.

Today we can mindlessly scroll through hundreds or thousands of titles from the comfort of our favorite living room chair, but back in the '80s and '90s we actually had to get in our cars, drive over to the nearest Blockbuster store and wander the aisles waiting for something to catch our attention, then watch it before our rental period expired.

After several weeks of staying at home and isolating ourselves from almost everyone else, the idea of browsing around a video store hoping to find the perfect movie for the night before someone else grabbed the last copy seems both quaint and delightful at the same time.


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