While Blockbuster stores ceased operation in 2014 amid the rise of streaming services, franchisee Sandi Harding has kept her Bend, Oregon location alive and well for more than two decades, and recently created the unique Airbnb rental to thank her remaining customers for their support. Airbnb is also donating to the Humane Society of Central Oregon, a longtime partner of the store.
The Blockbuster Airbnb has been decked out with period correct-decor to maximize the nostalgia factor, including a gigantic CRT television set and VCR (that's a videocassette recorder, in case you've never heard of it) a retro pull-out couch, and a library of VHS tapes, all set beneath a large Blockbuster banner. Check-out aisle refreshments including two-liter sodas, NERDs, Raisinets and popcorn will be available, and Hardi will even personally curate a selection of classic VHS titles ahead of guests' arrival.
The rental allows up to four people from the same household to easily adhere to Airbnb, CDC and local authority Covid-19 protocols and guidelines.
"It's our 20th year as a Blockbuster, we were hoping to celebrate that this year, but with Covid throwing a wrench into everybody's plans, we were really excited to be able to pull this off," Hardi told CNN. "With everybody being stuck at home and re-experiencing family time together, we thought it would be fun to enjoy some family time in a throwback '90s environment."
Stays are priced at just $4 per night—one penny more than the cost of a Blockbuster video rental. Unfortunately, only residents of Oregon's Deschutes County will be allowed to place a reservation on September 18, 19 or 20 beginning August 17. But you can always score vintage Blockbuster shot glasses, hats and other merch online, with sale proceeds going to support Hardi's Oregon store.