Who here remembers Blockbuster Video? Before broadband internet got lightning fast and dirt cheap, we had to go to an actual store, look through shelves full of (mostly bad) movies, and pick one out to rent for a couple days. And if we forgot to bring it back in time, our firstborn child was the price. And don’t even get me started on “Be Kind, Rewind” before DVDs came along.
There’s Still One Blockbuster Left?
Believe it or not, there’s still one last bastion of rental stores brandishing the Blockbuster name and it’s located in Bend, Oregon. The Store that Refuses to Close has even had a documentary made about it on (ironically enough) Netflix, and people travel from all over the world to visit the nostalgic spot.
As it turns out, this celebrity-of-a-store still has to advertise every once in a while, and a recent ad with a post-apocalyptic twist has helped sales skyrocket in two short weeks.
The 40-second ad is simple enough: a cockroach travels through a nuclear wasteland to rent a movie at the last Blockbuster. “When the world ends and the internet streams no more, we’ll still be here,” the ad proclaims. The little cockroach walks through the door and the store’s employee cheerfully says, “Hey Steve.”
Sandi Harding, the store’s manager, told NewsNations Prime on Sunday that sales are up 200% at the store since the ad dropped during Superbowl weekend. Harding explained that the ad helped the store tremendously, and it doesn’t sound like they’re going anywhere any time soon.
“Just kind of poking fun at the fact that we’ve survived everything else, we’re going to survive the apocalypse as well,” Harding said.
The store has developed to be much more than the video stores we remember as kids, as it also features movie memorabilia and Blockbuster-themed merchandise. And if you can’t make it out to Bend, Oregon, you can also shop online. Now my local Blockbuster never offered that.