It’s official. With the news that the Perth, Australia Blockbuster Video store is closing, the last Blockbuster Video store on the planet is now located in Bend, Oregon. That’s right: there’s only one place left on Earth where “Please be kind, rewind” still applies.
Once king of the at-home movie world, VHS tapes went the way of the dinosaurs when DVD and BluRay technology gained popularity. While the disks have had a mighty reign, the rise of streaming services has all but made them obsolete. And now the one place that rented them out is about to go extinct—almost.
Lyn and John Borszeky—the soon-to-be former owners of the Blockbuster in Morley, a suburb of Perth, Australia—recently announced they will close their doors forever by the end of March. Ms. Borszeky told the Australian Associated Press, “We put in a pretty good effort to be the last one in Australia, I suppose, but it was going to happen eventually and now is the time.”
Now that the entire planet is forced to flock to Bend, Oregon for their movie rentals, what can we expect from this lone Blockbuster outpost? To start, it won’t close anytime soon. Even though Dish now owns Blockbuster, the Bend store (like the former other last holdouts) is a franchised store. That means its owner/operator can choose to keep the rental retailer open for as long as they please.
Bend Blockbuster general manager, Sandi Harding, told The Oregonian, “We probably open up 10 accounts a day. It’s crazy the amount of people that come in and want a Blockbuster card.” According to Harding, many of the store’s visitors don’t actually rent movies, but they do come in to buy Blockbuster t-shirts, stickers and other merch.
The nostalgia for the once-global video rental retailer isn’t going away anytime soon, either. Bend-area filmmakers Taylor Morden and Zeke Kamm are working on a documentary about the Oregon store. As of now there’s no release date for “blockbuster” flick.
Featured photo: Marvel Entertainment via YouTube